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African Countries Praised For Handling Coronavirus Really Well

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African countries are still reeling from the effect of measures, such as lockdowns, taken to contain the spread of COVID-19. Though painful, they were a vital part of the successful public health response mounted by many African leaders.

The quick responses by most African countries meant that they were able to avoid the large-scale loss of life seen elsewhere. The 1.8 million infections and 44,000 deaths recorded on the continent by mid-November are a great loss. They are, nevertheless, far from the catastrophic predictions made back in March and April.

But the fight is not yet over: the Africa Centres for Disease Control has recently warned of a fresh wave of infections, reporting almost 9,000 cases a day. With lockdowns easing and borders opening this figure will certainly rise.

If good public health measures helped Africa tackle its first COVID-19 wave, a response led by scientists and researchers must be central to any current and future threats. This was emphasised by several top African scientists gathered at a recent webinar convened to discuss next steps to contain the pandemic.

The strong leadership displayed by many African countries during the pandemic is certainly a lesson for others. But strong leadership needs good science. For Africa, this means that research for treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 must take place here, led by African scientists and tailored to this specific context.

Lessons from Africa
Global solidarity might be lacking in the fight against COVID-19 but regional cooperation is not, especially in Africa. As the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, John Nkengasong, pointed out, “the continent came together very quickly”.

Under his leadership, 55 health ministers gathered in Addis Ababa in February to develop a joint African strategy for the COVID-19 outbreak.

One of the decisions taken was to develop a platform to train 100,000 health workers and for the common procurement of diagnostics medical supplies. Called the “Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing in Africa (PACT)”, the initiative was set up for multiple countries and has led to 12 million tests being conducted.

Many countries closed borders and implemented lockdowns. South Africa instituted one of the world’s strictest. For its part the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) instituted a lockdown and suspended all flights into the country – the main way cases were being introduced.

A number of countries also developed impressive testing programmes. One was Senegal, whose Institut Pasteur in Dakar was one of the only two laboratories with COVID-19 testing capacity when the pandemic began. Results are now available in hours. The country has also trained health workers elsewhere on the continent, and the Institut is developing home-test kits which should be available soon.

In South Africa, an army of health workers with experience in HIV and tuberculosis were used as contact tracers for COVID-19.

Another feature of the response in some countries was getting the buy-in of communities. Steve Mundeke Ahuka, the incident manager for the COVID-19 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said the country drew on its past experience in managing the Ebola response.

This involved using social scientists and epidemiologists to study perceptions of Ebola in the community because of the distrust of outsiders. These insights were used to create and adapt communications to combat fake news and support vaccination and contact tracing. After two difficult years, the strategies paid off: over 300,000 people were vaccinated.

Similar strategies were used for COVID-19.

Research on COVID-19
Most of the research taking place for COVID-19 is happening in North America and Europe. Large, well-organised clinical trials that were launched months ago are already saving lives.

This intensity of research is needed on the continent.

There are a number of reasons for this.

The first is that Africa has a different genetic profile. According to Helen Rees, executive director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa, who is leading COVID-19 vaccine efforts in South Africa,

Populations have different genetic backgrounds, and they are exposed to different infections such as HIV and malaria. We need to know if future vaccines will be safe and effective in our populations.

Another reason for more research on the continent is that it can help drive policy. As Borna Nyaoke Anoke, senior clinical project manager and medical manager at DNDi, argues:

We need large, well-conducted, randomised clinical trials in Africa to support policy change for treatments.

One of the most urgent priorities is the need for treatment for mild to moderate cases to avoid mass hospitalisations that would overwhelm already overburdened health systems. DNDi will soon be launching a large clinical trial with a number of African and European partners to fill this gap. A number of treatments that can be given to patients with mild symptoms will be tested.

Lastly, African countries need to be active in the research arena to ensure that they are not last in the queue for life-saving treatments and vaccines.

African countries have proved that they have the skills and expertise to provide local solutions to this global pandemic. They need to build on this success together to keep the pandemic at bay.

ooyrce:- Theconversation

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Lifestyle

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy gives lecture on fitness; Nigerians react

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami is currently trending and on the receiving end.



While giving a lecture on the importance of staying fit, Dr Pantami demonstrated some indoor exercises for the management staff to imitate.

He made this known during an ongoing two day retreat organised for the management staff of the ministry.

Photos from the lecture were shared via the handle of the ministry’s official Twitter account.

See post below;

“STAYING FIT TO DELIVER EFFECTIVE SERVICE!

“The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, @DrIsaPantami demonstrating to management Staff of the Ministry some exercise tips during the ongoing 2-day retreat,” the caption read.

See how Nigerians reacted below;

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Do You Agree: Cesc Fabregas reveals what Hakim Ziyech will deliver for Chelsea this season

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Ex-Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas believes that technically gifted Morocco winger Hakim Ziyech ‘has the vision’ to help to Chelsea to Premier League success this season.

The Blues spent a Premier League-record £253million on new players in the transfer window, so a lot of focus was on head coach Frank Lampard and where he could get the new arrivals to gel.

But the Blues are now just three points off Premier League leaders Leicester City and top their Champions League group thanks to an undefeated run of eight matches across all competitions.

It’s no coincidence that Hakim Ziyech has played in seven of those matches, while Timo Werner has scored seven times in that period.

Ziyech, who signed from Ajax for £38m, has scored two goals and assisted three since he made his debut last month, and Cesc Fabregas believes Chelsea are only going to get better as long as the Moroccan winger is on the team sheet.

‘He’s a very good player. He has this vision that you need in a top team like Chelsea, who want to win and be champions,’ Fabregas told 90min.

‘Why are coaches so tactical? Because they see the decision making of the players is not that good, so they always need to tell them what to do.

‘It’s not only that he sees it, it’s that he does it at the right time. That’s the decision-making that we talk about nowadays.’

Cesc Fabregas won two Premier League titles during his five years at the club, including their most recent triumph in the 2016-17 season. He thinks the west Londoners have the power to challenge for the crown once again if the new signings continue their excellent form.

‘You could see that they were lacking ideas last season and maybe at the beginning of this season, but with Ziyech, you can see that he has this last pass.

‘He makes things happen, things that the defenders don’t expect. They don’t expect the pass, you catch them sleeping and you have someone like Timo Werner making great runs in behind. I think this is where Chelsea could be so powerful this year.’

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Entertainment News

Anita Oyakhilome In 2020

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Fewa Otedola


Fewa Otedola is the only son and last child of oil industry magnate, Femi Otedola. He was born on the 2nd of June 2001 by Nana Otedola, his mother.

Fewa has a condition known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is a permanent condition that is diagnosed early in childhood. It affects how a person communicates, relates with others, speaks, and processes information.

Fewa’s immediate older sister, Temi Otedola, shares a special bond with him. She has provided details about his condition and the support he receives from the family on her blog, JTO Fashion.

On World Autism Day in 2017, the lifestyle and fashion blogger turned actress wrote about the challenges of living with the condition and the amount of support and love he gets from their mother, Nana Otedola, and their sisters – Florence Otedola otherwise known as DJ Cuppy, and Tolani Otedola.

Fewa Otedola is also loved by his father, Femi Otedola, who never fails to tell the world that he is proud of his son. On his 19th birthday, the Otedola patriarch shared his picture on Instagram and wrote as caption:

“Happy Birthday to my Fewa Papa loves you! ..F.Ote”

Fewa Otedola and father, Femi Otedola

Fewa does not have an active social media account. This does not stop his family from sharing his pictures or pictures taken with him to their respective social media pages.

His relationship status is also yet unknown. It is believed that his family is focused on giving him the best care and attention in consideration of his special needs.

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