The World Health Organization has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing African countries to stretch their already limited healthcare capacities, as the organization revealed 362,000 pregnant women in Nigeria missed their ante-natal care from March to August.
This was disclosed by WHO in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
The WHO said even though Africa has recorded the least casualties and infections, the crisis has hit the continent’s healthcare sector, as other critical sectors have had little attention due to the pandemic.
“A preliminary analysis by WHO indicates COVID-19 is hitting other health services really hard,” said Matshidiso Moeti, Africa Director for the WHO.
The WHO warned that the initial lockdowns contributed to a 50% drop in healthcare services in Africa, as over 1 million children in Africa missed vaccinations for measles between January to August, compared to 2019.
Matshidiso Moeti also disclosed that 362,000 pregnant women in Nigeria could not get ante-natal services from march to August, due to Nigeria’s stretched healthcare sector.
“So while COVID-19 is not overwhelming African health facilities in the way initially predicted. It is really stretching already resource-limited health systems,” Moeti said.
She added that vaccinations for Polio and Measles need to be restarted, to prevent relapse on the gains the continent has made in combating the diseases as a result of increased health services in remote areas.
Covid-19: Victims Support Fund launches N3.3 billion intervention fund
The VSF has launched a N3.3 billion intervention fund, targeting one million households most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The Victims Support Fund (VSF), a foundation for supporting victims of terrorism has announced that the launch of a N3.3 billion COVID-19 intervention fund, targeting one million households most affected by the pandemic in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsuji, Chairperson, VSF Task Force on COVID-19, on Saturday in Kano.
Mrs. Akerele-Ogunsuji disclosed on Saturday that VSF has already spent N1.8 billion in the first phase of its COVID-19 intervention through the provision of food and other relief materials, adding that N832 million was spent under the second phase of the programme.
She added that for the 3rd phase of the scheme, N1.3 billion will be spent until the end of the year.
“The total amount will be around N3.3 billion. It includes the money spent on the provision of 54 solar powered boreholes installed in schools across 18 states in the six geo-political zones of the county.
“The VSF is also donating 60, 000 pieces of COVID-19 rapid test kits to support opening of the orientation camps of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the coming weeks.
“We are targeting indigent and vulnerables households in the country, that is very important to us, and by the time we have done this intervention we will have over one million individuals who have been touched by the VSF interventions,” she said.
She also revealed that the fund has also provided medical items and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers, in 16 of the 30 states in the six geo-political zones of the country.
What you should know
Victims Support Fund, joins other private and public sector initiatives including the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 CACOVID which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed has so far incurred an expenditure of N43.27billion on the acquisition of, not only medical equipment and supplies but also food palliatives for vulnerable Nigerians.
Nairametrics reported that CACOVID announced plans to deploy over N150 billion towards the setting up and implementation of a youth development programme. It also announced they have budgeted nothing less than N250 billion to rehabilitate damaged police stations across the country and solve the issue of unemployment.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 29th of November 2020, 82 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 67,412 confirmed cases.
On the 29th of November 2020, 82 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.
To date, 67,412 cases have been confirmed, 63,055 cases have been discharged and 1,173 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 756,237 tests have been carried out as of November 29th, 2020 compared to 749,136 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 29th November 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 67,412
- Total Number Discharged – 63,055
- Total Deaths – 1,173
- Total Tests Carried out – 756,237
According to the NCDC, the 82 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (48), Rivers (8), Kwara (6), Yobe(6), Katsina (5), FCT(3), Nasarawa(2), Plateau (1), Ogun (1), Kano (1) and Osun(1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,238, followed by Abuja (6,770), Plateau (3,858), Oyo (3,721), Kaduna (3,064), Rivers (2,985), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,223), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,795), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,102), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,030), Osun (946), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (770), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (493), Bayelsa (445), Ekiti (365), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (159), Yobe (100), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Covid-19: UK to approve Pfizer, BioTNech vaccine, to start immunization December 7
The UK government is set to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc next week.
The global reception of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc in collaboration with BioNTech following the positive outcome of its phase 3 trial, seems to have intensified as it is set for approval by the UK medical regulator.
According to Reuters, a report from Financial Times on Saturday suggests that deliveries would commence within hours of the authorization with the first immunizations using the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine possibly taking place from December 7.
The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had earlier in the day, named Nadhim Zahawi, who is the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.
The UK government has placed an order for 40 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which has been found to be 95% effective in the final analysis of the phase 3 trials in preventing the spread of a virus that has killed over 1.4 million people across the world with its devastating impact on the global economy.
The UK government had on November 20, formally asked its medical regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to conduct a study of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine with a view to determining its suitability, the first step in making it available outside the United State
The government which had secured 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford had also asked the regulator on Friday to assess the vaccine for a possible rollout before Christmas.
What you should know: The US drugmaker, Pfizer Inc, on November 18, 2020, announced that a final analysis of clinical-trial data of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, which it is developing in collaboration with BioTNech, showed it was 95% effective, thereby paving the way for the company to apply for the first U.S. regulatory authorization for a coronavirus shot.
Pfizer said they had no serious safety concerns in a trial that involves almost 44,000 participants as their vaccine protected people of all ages and ethnicities.