By Adedapo Adesanya
The African Union (AU) has called on leaders on the continent to take necessary precautions to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 infections that could lead to a second wave.
This call was made by South African President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as Chairperson of the organisation during the second mid-year coordination meeting of the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs), where he said the precautions could necessitate the need for countries to revert to stricter lockdown regulations.
“We established a COVID-19 Response Fund to assist with boosting the capacity of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – the Africa CDC – and to assist African countries in combating and containing the spread of the virus,” he stated.
The Chairperson further recalled that Special Envoys were appointed to mobilise international support for a comprehensive economic stimulus package for Africa, adding that through cooperation at a continental level, the African Task Force for Coronavirus was formed and that the Partnership for Accelerated COVID-19 Testing campaign was established.
He also highlighted that the innovative Africa Medical Supplies Platform was launched to ensure that all African countries have access to affordable medical equipment, diagnostics and other essential supplies.
President Ramaphosa commended the joint efforts to address the pandemic, saying that the continent was able to respond proactively to the COVID-19 threat due to the great work of the AU Commission and the member states.
“As a continent, we remain united in our call for equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed,” the South African leader said.
The Chairperson of the AU further pointed out that while some regional economic communities have made significant progress in key areas of integration, others have struggled to achieve the goals set out in their respective treaties and conventions and in meeting the milestones set out in the Abuja Treaty.
With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) set to come into effect next year, he has called on countries to ensure all mechanisms be put in place to pave the way for its implementation.
“We welcome the fact that all the Regional Economic Communities affirm the importance of trade in advancing economic integration. Once the African Continental Free Trade Area comes into operation next year, economic integration will be given added momentum,” emphasised the AU Chairperson.
Similarly, the Chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC), Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, recalled in his opening speech that this meeting is being held in a unique context, deeply marked by the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the continent negatively. This, he said “has presented a huge challenge for our continent that needs a new dynamics of solidarity, resilience and development.”
The AUC Chairperson applauded the outstanding leadership of Mr Ramaphosa, who in his capacity as Chairperson of the AU has multiplied initiatives and provided guidance with the support from a member of the Bureau of the Assembly of the AU and leaders of the RECs, to enable the continent to achieve considerable development milestone, despite the obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This pandemic has taught us several lessons, one of them is the strength and efficiency of the coordination. The efficiency in the fight against COVID-19 was attested by the international honorary distinction awarded to Dr John Nkengasong, the director of Africa CDC.”
He underscored the purpose of the coordination meeting, which is to include, in a formalized framework, the relations between the African Union, the RECs/ RMs and the Member States so that all these entities cooperate in the development of the continent, without interference or overlap on the skills of each other.
The AUC Chairperson recalled that a general framework for the division of labour has been approved by the Assembly of the Union, at its February 2020 session.
“The document on the division of labour between the AU, the RECs / RMs and the Member States which will be presented to you is, therefore, the result of collective work which was intended to be as detailed as possible, and which adopted a progressive approach, by limiting itself to only three areas, namely Peace and Security, Political Affairs and Trade,” he said.
As of Friday, the continent has over 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 1.3 million recoveries and more than 40,000 COVID-19 related deaths.
Nigeria to Get 3.92m Extra COVID-19 Vaccine Doses
By Adedapo Adesanya
As the country starts its second phase of coronavirus vaccination, Nigeria is set to receive 3.92 million extra doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine latest in early August.
This was disclosed by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, at the briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.
Although an exact date that the country will take delivery of the vaccine was not given, he confirmed that, “We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca by end of July or early August.”
“As we receive additional information on the exact dates in August, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of this,” he added.
The NPHCDA boss noted that the agency has held town halls in the North Central and North East regions of the country, stating that while efforts to ensure the supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were ongoing, the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) would hold its planned meeting with stakeholders in the south-south region and the larger communities on COVID-19 vaccination on the course of the week.
Mr Shuaib stressed that the NPHCDA was fully committed to going to communities to discuss directly its vaccine effort, the importance of staying safe and protected against COVID-19, and answering the questions people have.
“We have been really grateful for the high levels of participation and interest in these events. We are confident that through continued awareness-raising, we will be able to keep communities safe and healthy,” he said.
The head of NPHCDA raised an alarm that there has been a rise in COVID-19 cases in several African countries recently and called on all Nigerians to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
According to him, wearing a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces can save lives, pointing out that a curfew remains in place from midnight until 4 a.m. every day.
Mr Shuaib added, “Indoor gatherings must be limited to 50 people, and are only permitted if all attendees abide by social distancing and wear face masks.
“And the government has introduced restrictions on incoming travel from high-risk countries and quarantine requirements to keep Nigerians safe. With a virus like COVID-19, we each must do our part to keep our communities safe.”
Like other African countries, Nigeria is struggling with a lack of supply and inadequate healthcare infrastructure for a rapid mass rollout.
Another factor is vaccine hesitancy rooted in misinformation and falsehood.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said last week that about 90 per cent of African countries would miss a September target to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of their populations.
As of Tuesday, Nigeria had 167,078 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,117 deaths. Experts say those figures probably understate the extent of the outbreak, given low testing rates.
Natural Treatments For Erectile Dysfunction
Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that causes men to not be able to get or keep a strong enough erection in order to be able to perform sexually.
Other symptoms of the condition include diminished sexual libido. Although these things are common from time to time in most men, where it happens continuously for weeks or months, this is when it is erectile dysfunction.
When visiting your doctor about erectile dysfunction, it is likely that they will offer you treatment in the form of penile implants, penis pumps, surgery, and oral medication in order to find a solution to the problem.
However, some men prefer to go down the route of trying more natural remedies first to try and tackle their problems in the bedroom department.
Although the evidence is not quite a clear cut, it is believed that the practice of inserting needles into the body can help you to not only get a strong erection but also bring back your desire to want to have sex in the first place. Providing that the practitioner is fully trained and licensed, the risk of receiving acupuncture is very low.
This is a flowering plant that occurs naturally across the arctic areas of North America, Asia, and Europe and has been shown to be helpful for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
In scientific studies, it was responsible for male participants having a much greater sexual function. In addition to this, the herb can also reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. However, more research is required in order to fully understand how it works and if long term use is safe.
Making simple but permanent changes to your lifestyle can actually seriously impact how severely erectile dysfunction impacts you. This includes doing things such as losing weight and exercise more often.
Limiting the amount of alcohol that you drink and the number of cigarettes that you smoke also has an impact. There are also certain foods, such as pistachios and cocoa, which are great for boosting your sexual performance.
A supplement that is an extract from a specific tree found in Africa, Yohimbe has shown positive signs in improving men’s sexual performance.
However, because of the possible side effects that there may be from its use, you will struggle to find it as a recommendation for erectile dysfunction.
Some of the side effects include tremor, irritability, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. For these reasons, it is important to check with your doctor before using it.
Known as the herbal form of viagra, Panax ginseng comes backed up with lots of good research about its ability to help those men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.
The herb is most effective for those men who have metabolic syndrome and a high number of lipids within their blood.
Additionally, it is also good for improving lung function and increasing blood flow, meaning that it is useful for other diseases.
13 Nigerian Medical Students Celebrate Securing US Residencies
No fewer than 13 Nigerian medical students from St. George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine in Grenada have been appointed to begin their residency positions at prestigious US medical hospitals and health centres this summer. The students will make an undeniable impact on healthcare.
St. George’s University, the premier choice in Caribbean medical schools, has evolved into a top centre of international education, contributing over 18,000 physicians to the global physician workforce, with students, graduates, and faculty from over 150 countries. SGU graduates have practised in every state in the US, as well as in more than 50 countries, including Nigeria.
According to a recent report from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), 11,627 SGU graduates were licensed to practice medicine in the US in 2019, making it the largest source of doctors for the entire US workforce—ahead of any other US or international medical school.
“We stand back and marvel at the outstanding work being done by our graduates in all corners of the US and the world,” said Dr G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “The impact that they have made—and will continue to make—on patients, their families, and their communities is truly immeasurable.”
In 2021, more than 1,080 SGU graduates will begin their residencies across the United States, marking the seventh year in a row in which SGU was the number one provider of new doctors to the US healthcare system per data as of April 2021. They’ll enter 21 different specialities ranging from neurology and orthopaedic surgery to pathology and anesthesiology.
“We are proud of the impact that our graduates have had in the US and around the world,” said Dr Richard Liebowitz, vice-chancellor of SGU. “As a University, we look forward to providing a sturdy foundation for our students to become well-equipped, well-rounded physicians for many years to come.”
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