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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

Dozens get vaccine after Ebola outbreak in Uganda

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Report says, Ugandan health officials have reacted with the vaccination campaign for people who may have been exposed to Ebola.

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The outbreak, one of the worst in history, started in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year and spread to Uganda earlier this month.


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24 Hours Across Africa

India doctors embark on strike aimed better security

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Source: Reuters

Thousands of doctors across India went on strike on Friday to demand better security at hospitals days after junior doctors in the city of Kolkata were attacked, leaving services in many government-run health facilities paralyzed.

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The state of West Bengal, of which Kolkata is capital, has been the worst hit by the strike with at least 13 big government hospitals affected.

The protests were sparked by an attack at the NRS Medical College in Kolkata on June 10 that left three junior doctors seriously injured after a dispute with a family whose relative had died.

Doctors demanding better security began a strike but their action was confined to the state until West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned them on Thursday, saying police did not strike when one of their colleagues was killed.

Banerjee’s remarks, which included a warning that junior doctors would be evicted from their college hostels if they did not go back to work, triggered a nationwide reaction.

The Indian Medical Association said the “barbaric” attack at the NRS reflected a national problem, and called for a countrywide protest. It also demanded legislation to safeguard doctors.

Nearly 30,000 doctors were on a one-day strike on Friday, most in West Bengal, New Delhi and the western state of Maharashtra, according to figures proved by medical associations.

The federal health minister, Harsh Vardhan, tried to calm the furor, promising better security at hospitals and calling on Banerjee to withdraw her ultimatum.

“I urge doctors to end their strike in the larger interest of society. I will take all possible measures to ensure a safe environment for them at hospitals across the country,” Vardhan said on Twitter.

India spent an estimated 1.4% of its gross domestic product on healthcare in 2017/18, among the lowest proportions in the world. Many millions of Indians depend on the cheap but inadequate public health system.

Saradamani Ray, whose 77-year old father is a patient at the NRS Medical College, said she would have to move him because of the strike.

“I will have to take my father somewhere else for his dialysis, maybe a private hospital,” she told Reuters.

“It will cause a lot of financial strain, but there’s nothing I can do. I will have to pay.”


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