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African researchers charge WHO to prioritize communication in Vaccine trial.

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The World Health Organization, WHO, as at 2018 started a malaria vaccine trial in sub-Saharan Africa. But a group of African researchers are advising on the need to prioritize communication in the course of the trial which runs till 2020.

According to a review of previous non-WHO trials by the four researchers, failure to factor in the socio-cultural context of research sample size in those trials affected the process.

“Effective implementation of the malaria vaccine program requires careful consideration of the socio-cultural context of each community.



The RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine acceptance and uptake may be significantly enhanced if caregivers’ perceptions about vaccines and their importance are adequately fine-tuned.

“In order to achieve these, community participation and the provision of adequate information in an acceptable form via reliable communication channels seem to be imperative,” findings published from the 11-page report noted in part.

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The research article titled: “Current challenges and proposed solutions to the effective implementation of the RTS, S/ AS01 Malaria Vaccine Program in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review,” was published on eve of 2019.

Its authors include: Christian Akem Dimala, Belmond Tse Kika, Benjamin Momo Kadia and Hannah Blencowe who employed a systematic review of relevant studies between 1947 and 2017.

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They study’s other objective beyond reviewing and summarizing available literature was to also chiefly address the challenges faced during the implementation phase of malaria vaccination programs and randomized trials conducted in sub-Saharan Africa.

WHO’s Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program is intended to initiate the roll-out of the RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine in three sub-Saharan African countries – Ghana, Malawi and Kenya.

The Mosquirix vaccine (also called RTS, S) was created specially for infants. By the end of the pilot phase (2018 – 2020) an estimated 360,000 children are expected to be given the vaccine.

WHO wants to vaccinate at least 120,000 children in each of the countries participating in the pilot program. The areas most affected will be given priority, it said in 2017.

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Health & Lifestyle

Sports head injuries Balanced reportage is required – Experts

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A group of more than 60 leading international neuroscientists, including Mark Herceg, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and a member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, published a correspondence today in The Lancet Neurology, asking for balance when reporting on sports-related injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a type of dementia associated with exposure to repeated concussions, and has been linked with a variety of contact sports such as boxing, football, American football and rugby.



Although CTE is commonly featured in the news media and discussed among peers, the medical community is just beginning to understand how to recognize the disease, guidelines for how to assess its severity have yet to be established.

“We don’t currently have a clear understanding of the link between CTE pathology and any specific symptoms,” noted Dr. Herceg. “It’s important to note to the public at large that CTE is at an early stage of scientific and medical understanding, with many important aspects of the disease yet to be established.”

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“Dr. Herceg and his colleague’s CTE research is timely and impactful as a major step forward to more clearly defining the risk and prevalence of this important syndrome,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

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-Northwell Health

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Health & Lifestyle

Mother bags 4 years jail term for drawing son’s blood.

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A Danish court on Thursday sentenced a mother to four years in jail for aggravated abuse for having unnecessarily drawn a half-litre (one pint) of blood from her son weekly for five years.

A trained nurse, the 36-year-old woman began drawing her son’s blood when he was 11 months old, averaging about once a week for the next five years.

The mother said she would not appeal the verdict handed down by the district court in the western town of Herning.



“It’s not a decision that I took consciously. I don’t know when I started doing what I had no right to do. It came gradually. I threw the blood down the toilet and put the syringes in the garbage,” she told the court.

The boy, today aged seven and who lives with his father, suffered an intestinal illness shortly after birth but as the years went by doctors could not explain why he had so little blood in his system.

To remedy the situation, doctors gave him 110 blood transfusions over the years.

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They eventually grew suspicious of the mother, and police began investigating her.

She was arrested in September 2017 carrying a bag of blood.

On social media, she had presented herself as a single mother fighting for her sick son.

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Psychiatric experts told the court they believed the mother suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare condition in which a person, usually a mother, fabricates an illness for a dependent and puts them through unnecessary medical treatment.

However, they deemed her healthy enough to go to prison.

She has been barred from the nursing profession.

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