Death toll has risen to 53 in Samoa as the pacific island battles a measles outbreak that has called for a state of emergency as schools were and the island is restricting travel ahead of the Christmas holiday season.
A significant drop in immunization over the last few years has made Samoa highly vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, with the World Health Organization (WHO) saying vaccine coverage is about 31 percent on the island. The Samoan government said the official death toll has jumped more than 10-fold to 53 on Monday.
Schools have been closed and a mass vaccination effort launched in the country, the government says 50,068 people have been vaccinated.
Samoa Prime Minister’s Office press secretary, Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga told Al Jazeera “five children died overnight,” adding that among the 53 persons who died “50 were children under the age of 15 while 23 were babies aged less than one year old … In the last 24 hours a further 198 cases have also been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.”
More countries have flown medical staff and supplies to Samoa to battle a measles outbreak that prompted the Pacific island to declare a state of emergency this month.
The United Kingdom said a group of British doctors and nurses left on Friday to help Samoa’s efforts to rein in the outbreak while neighbouring New Zealand said it was sending more supplies and personnel, including emergency medical assistance teams.
The health ministry confirmed 3,728 cases of measles have been reported in the outbreak.
Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads easily through coughing and sneezing.
Measles Toll In DR Congo Exceeds 5,000, WHO Says
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said on Thursday, a measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 5,000 people this year alone, and many of them young children.
A first measles vaccination campaign was launched to protect people against the infectious disease that has struck all of the country’s 26 provinces.
W.H.O said, low immunization rates and high levels of malnutrition have fuelled the epidemic and high mortality rates, especially in North Kivu province, which is also reeling from an Ebola epidemic.
There, the world’s second biggest Ebola epidemic on record has killed more than 2,200 people since mid-last year. New infections are reported to have slowed in recent months, but W.H.O, warned last week that Ebola was likely to resurge.
Since the start of 2019, more than 250,000 suspected measles cases and at least 5,000 deaths mostly among children under 5 years, have been recorded.
Doctors Reject New Minimum Wage In Lagos State
Doctors in Lagos, under the umbrella of the Medical Guild have rejected the state government’s minimum wage. The group says it is below the expectations of civil servants.
Chairman of the guild, doctor Babajide Saheed expressed the decision while briefing the press on the scientific conference that begins in Lagos today.
The medical guild is the association of medical doctors employed by Lagos State.
Saheed said not only is the new minimum wage unacceptable, the guild was not involved in the negotiations.
The guild is also asking governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for tax exemption on call duty paid to doctors as was done during Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s administration. The guild also wants the doctors’ retirement age reviewed to sixty-five years just as has been done for teachers.
Lagos state kick-started payment of 35,000 naira per month minimum wage for its workers in November. The national minimum wage is 30,000 naira per month.
Rwanda To Launch Clinical Trial Of HIV Injection Drug
The Rwandan government is piloting an HIV injection it hopes would eradicate the need for patients to take drugs on a daily basis.
Rwanda is one of the countries involved in the trial of the HIV injection drug. Director-general of Rwanda biomedical centre, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana says the injection is considered a more improved and sustainable way of treatment. Each dose of the injection lasts for eight weeks, beating the daily requirements of the ARV pill.
Details about the new drug are not yet revealed, but Dr. Nsanzimana says the eight week trial of the injection will be specifically discussed at different sessions of the 20th international conference on aids and sexually transmitted diseases in Africa to be held in Kigali next week. More than a hundred and fifty countries are expected to be there.
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