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Severe Shortages Of Critical Vaccines Threatens Libyan Children’s Health – UN Agencies

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Two United Nations’ agencies have ave expressed “extreme concern” about severe shortages of critical vaccines in Libya that threaten the health of children.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in a joint statement on Thursday, noted that over the past seven months, “unprecedented vaccine shortages” in Libya had disrupted children’s immunization schedules, putting them at risk of illness and death.

The statement pointed out that there had been “an alarming decline” in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines worldwide.

It said in Libya, this decline is a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the closure of international borders, movement restrictions and delays in vaccine procurement and distribution.

The two UN agencies pointed out that many vaccination centres have been forced to close due to the lack of personal protective equipment for health workers.

According to the press release, a recent assessment of 200 of the 700 vaccination sites in Libya, carried out by the National Centre for Disease Control, with the support of UNICEF and WHO, showed that they had stock-outs of BCG vaccine and extremely limited quantities of hexavalent vaccine.

The BCG vaccine protects children against tuberculosis (TB), the world’s leading infectious killer, while the hexavalent vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus B and hepatitis B.

The statement stated that the evaluation also showed that the vaccines against polio and measles would be exhausted by the end of the year, and unless urgent measures were taken to replace them, the diseases they prevent were likely to spread rapidly, “with disastrous consequences”.

UNICEF and WHO urged national authorities to secure immediate funding to replenish the vaccine supply, stressing that vaccines are one of the most critical public health interventions in the world.

Immunization protects children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases and reduces child mortality, said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Libya.

She gave the assurance that WHO would spare no effort to improve immunization coverage of children across the country to ensure a healthy childhood and a prosperous future.

The statement stressed the importance of ensuring that the progress achieved through the Expanded Programme on Immunization in Libya was sustainable as the world considered multiple ways to curb the COVIDC-19 pandemic.

“It is essential that all immunization sites receive an immediate supply of all vaccines to ensure uninterrupted implementation of the immunization schedule based on national protocols,” added UNICEF Special Representative in Libya Abdelkader Moussi.

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Nigeria Records 110 New COVID-19 Infections in 11 States

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed 110 new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The NCDC made this known via the agency’s website on Saturday.

The public health agency said that the new cases brought the total number of COVID-19 infections in Nigeria to 67,330.

Nigeria has so far tested 756,237 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced on Feb. 27 this year.

The NCDC said that the new infections were recorded in 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to the centre, the 110 new cases are reported from 11 states with Lagos having 26; the FCT, 23; Kaduna, 20 and Katsina, 11.

Ogun recorded nine cases; Ekiti, six; Plateau, five; Rivers, four; Kano and Nasarawa, three each and Niger had two.

The NCDC said that till date, 67,330 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed out of which 62,819 patients had been discharged from the various isolation centres across the country.

The centre said the nation had so far recorded 1,171 COVID-19-related deaths.

The public health agency said that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated at Level 3 to coordinate response activities. (NAN)

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 Deaths Hit 1171, New Cases 246

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Death toll from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria increased to 1,171 after the West African nation announced two new fatalities on Friday.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 246 new cases were also recorded in the country.

The NCDC made this known on its verified website on Friday.

The agency said that the infections brought the total number of cases in the country to 67,220.

Nigeria has tested 756,237 persons since the first confirmed case was announced on Feb. 27.

The country had since April suffered over 67,000 cases as total infections hit 67,220 and total recovery and discharge stood at 62,686.

The agency, however, said that there were two confirmed deaths within the last 24 hours, with 101 patients discharged from isolation centers across the country.

The NCDC said that the new infection were spread across nine states and the Federal Capital Territory.

It noted that Lagos led in the number of cases with 81, 73 in FCT, 39 in Plateau and 25 in Kaduna.

Among other states were Ogun with 13 infections, Bauchi, 5, Rivers, 4 and Ekiti, Taraba and Kano 2 each.

The public health agency said that till date, 67,220 cases had been confirmed, 62,686, discharged and 1,171 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) was activated at Level 3, and had continued to coordinate the national response activities.

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Kenya Records 810 New Coronavirus Infections

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Kenya has recorded 810 new coronavirus cases, the East African country’s health ministry announced on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Health said the cases increased infections in the country to 79,322 since March.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said eight patients had succumbed to the virus, raising fatalities in the country to 1,417 since April.

He said there were 1,198 patients admitted in various health facilities across the countrry.

“7,169 are on home-based isolation and care,” he said in a statement. “Forty-nine patients are in the Intensive Care Unit, thirty-one of whom are on ventilatory support, and fourteen on supplementary oxygen,” Kagwe said.

Kenya has experienced a surge in the number of infections since September, in what threatens plans to reopen schools in January next year.

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