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OHCHR, IOM, UNHCR and WHO joint press release: the rights and health of refugees, migrants and stateless must be protected in COVID-19 response
on 1st April 2020 at 11:54 am
In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, we are all vulnerable. The virus has shown that it does not discriminate – but many refugees, those forcibly displaced, the stateless and migrants are at heightened risk. Three-quarters of the world’s refugees and many migrants are hosted in developing regions where health systems are already overwhelmed and under-capacitated. Many live in overcrowded camps, settlements, makeshift shelters or reception centers, where they lack adequate access to health services, clean water and sanitation. The situation for refugees and migrants held in formal and informal places of detention, in cramped and unsanitary conditions, is particularly worrying. Considering the lethal consequences a COVID-19 outbreak would have, they should be released without delay. Migrant children and their families and those detained without a sufficient legal basis should be immediately released. This disease can be controlled only if there is an inclusive approach which protects every individual’s rights to life and health. Migrants and refugees are disproportionately vulnerable to exclusion, stigma and discrimination, particulary when undocumented. To avert a catastrophe, governments must do all they can to protect the rights and the health of everyone. Protecting the rights and the health of all people will in fact help control the spread of the virus. It is vital that everyone, including all migrants and refugees, are ensured equal access to health services and are effectively included in national responses to COVID-19, including prevention, testing and treatment. Inclusion will help not only to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, but will also serve to protect public health and stem the global spread of COVID-19. While many nations protect and host refugee and migrant populations, they are often not equipped to respond to crises such as Covid-19. To ensure refugees and migrants have adequate access to national health services, States may need additional financial support. This is where the world’s financial institutions can play a leading role in making funds available. While countries are closing their borders and limiting cross-border movements, there are ways to manage border restrictions in a manner which respects international human rights and refugee protection standards, including the principle of non-refoulement, through quarantine and health checks. More than ever, as COVID-19 poses a global threat to our collective humanity, our primary focus should be on the preservation of life, regardless of status. This crisis demands a coherent, effective international approach that leaves no-one behind. At this crucial moment we all need to rally around a common objective, fighting this deadly virus. Many refugees, displaced, stateless people and migrants have skills and resources that can also be part of the solution. We cannot allow fear or intolerance to undermine rights or compromise the effectiveness of responses to the global pandemic. We are all in this together. We can only defeat this virus when each and every one of us is protected.
Medical Product Alert N°3/2020
on 1st April 2020 at 7:31 am
This Medical Product Alert warns consumers, healthcare professionals, and health authorities against a growing number of falsified medical products that claim to prevent, detect, treat or cure COVID-19. The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic (caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2) has increased demand for medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and reagents, all related to COVID-19, creating an opportunity for ill-intended persons to distribute falsified medical products Due diligence is required from all actors in the procurement, use and administration of medical products, in particular those affected by the current crisis of, or related to, COVID-19. 1. FALSIFIED IN VITRO DIAGNOSTICS AND LABORATORY REAGENTS WHO has received multiple reports regarding falsified in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and laboratory reagents for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Please refer to WHO’s Emergency Use Listing for a list of diagnostics approved for clinical use by WHO. To date, eight countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, PR China, Russian Federation, Singapore, Republic of Korea, United States of America) have listed IVDs for COVID-19 diagnosis based on expedited regulatory assessments. Please note that, in the European Union, regulatory compliance for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics are self-declared by the manufacturer. To assist Member States and stakeholders, WHO has published the links to these emergency lists, together with contact details. These links provide information on IVDs authorized for use in the jurisdictions of the International Medical Device Regulators Forum, as well as policies and guidance. WHO will provide updated versions as new information becomes available.End-users are encouraged to check the labelling against the information posted by regulatory authorities upon listing to ensure they are in possession of the genuine product. This information might include product name, product code, expiry date, instructions for use and manufacturer details. Unregulated websites supplying medicines and/or vaccines, particularly those concealing their physical address or landline telephone number, are frequently the source of unlicensed, substandard and falsified medical products. WHO has been made aware of various unregistered websites claiming that products on sale can treat or prevent COVID-19. Such products are likely to be falsified medicines. In addition, some websites may appear to provide easy access to legitimate medicines that are otherwise not readily available. End-buyers and consumers should be especially wary of such online scams and exert due diligence when purchasing any medical product, whether online or not. 2. FALSIFIED MEDICINES AND VACCINESAt this stage, WHO does not recommend any medicines to treat or cure COVID-19. However, the SOLIDARITY trial, led by WHO, is reviewing potential treatments for COVID-19. WHO requests increased vigilance from national health authorities, healthcare professionals, members of the public and supply chain stakeholders worldwide to prevent the distribution of these falsified medical products. Increased vigilance should focus on hospitals, clinics, health centres, clinical laboratories, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and any other suppliers of medical products. All medical products must be obtained from authentic and reliable sources. Their authenticity and condition of the product should be carefully checked. Consumers are advised to seek advice from a healthcare professional in case of doubt. National health authorities are requested to immediately notify WHO if these falsified products are discovered in their country. If you have any information concerning the manufacture, distribution, or supply of these products, please contact firstname.lastname@example.orgWHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for Substandard and Falsified Medical ProductsFor further information, please visit our website: https://www.who.int/medicines/regulation/ssffc/en/
Joint Statement by QU Dongyu, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Roberto Azevedo, Directors-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)
on 31st March 2020 at 4:38 pm
Millions of people around the world depend on international trade for their food security and livelihoods. As countries move to enact measures aiming to halt the accelerating COVID-19 pandemic, care must be taken to minimise potential impacts on the food supply or unintended consequences on global trade and food security. When acting to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, countries should ensure that any trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain. Such disruptions including hampering the movement of agricultural and food industry workers and extending border delays for food containers, result in the spoilage of perishables and increasing food waste. Food trade restrictions could also be linked to unjustified concerns on food safety. If such a scenario were to materialize, it would disrupt the food supply chain, with particularly pronounced consequences for the most vulnerable and food insecure populations. Uncertainty about food availability can spark a wave of export restrictions, creating a shortage on the global market. Such reactions can alter the balance between food supply and demand, resulting in price spikes and increased price volatility. We learned from previous crises that such measures are particularly damaging for low-income, food-deficit countries and to the efforts of humanitarian organizations to procure food for those in desperate need.We must prevent the repeat of such damaging measures. It is at times like this that more, not less, international cooperation becomes vital. In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdowns, every effort must be made to ensure that trade flows as freely as possible, specially to avoid food shortage. Similarly, it is also critical that food producers and food workers at processing and retail level are protected to minimise the spread of the disease within this sector and maintain food supply chains. Consumers, in particular the most vulnerable, must continue to be able to access food within their communities under strict safety requirements. We must also ensure that information on food-related trade measures, levels of food production, consumption and stocks, as well as on food prices, is available to all in real time. This reduces uncertainty and allows producers, consumers and traders to make informed decisions. Above all, it helps contain ‘panic buying’ and the hoarding of food and other essential items.Now is the time to show solidarity, act responsibly and adhere to our common goal of enhancing food security, food safety and nutrition and improving the general welfare of people around the world. We must ensure that our response to COVID-19 does not unintentionally create unwarranted shortages of essential items and exacerbate hunger and malnutrition.
WHO releases guidelines to help countries maintain essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic
on 31st March 2020 at 9:12 am
The COVID-19 pandemic is straining health systems worldwide. The rapidly increasing demand on health facilities and health care workers threatens to leave some health systems overstretched and unable to operate effectively. Previous outbreaks have demonstrated that when health systems are overwhelmed, mortality from vaccine-preventable and other treatable conditions can also increase dramatically. During the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, the increased number of deaths caused by measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis attributable to health system failures exceeded deaths from Ebola [1,2]. “The best defense against any outbreak is a strong health system,” stressed WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “COVID-19 is revealing how fragile many of the world’s health systems and services are, forcing countries to make difficult choices on how to best meet the needs of their people.” To help countries navigate through these challenges, the World Health Organization (WHO) has updated operational planning guidelines in balancing the demands of responding directly to COVID-19 while maintaining essential health service delivery, and mitigating the risk of system collapse. This includes a set of targeted immediate actions that countries should consider at national, regional, and local level to reorganize and maintain access to high-quality essential health services for all. Countries should identify essential services that will be prioritized in their efforts to maintain continuity of service delivery and make strategic shifts to ensure that increasingly limited resources provide maximum benefit for the population. They also need to comply with the highest standard in precautions, especially in hygiene practices, and the provision of adequate supplies including personal protective equipment This requires robust planning and coordinated actions between governments and health facilities and their managers. Some examples of essential services include: routine vaccination; reproductive health services including care during pregnancy and childbirth; care of young infants and older adults; management of mental health conditions as well as noncommunicable diseases and infectious diseases like HIV, malaria and TB; critical inpatient therapies; management of emergency health conditions; auxiliary services like basic diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and blood bank services, among others. Well-organized and prepared health systems can continue to provide equitable access to essential service delivery throughout an emergency, limiting direct mortality and avoiding increased indirect mortality. The guidelines stress the importance of keeping up-to-date information. This requires frequent transparent communications with the public, and strong community engagements so the public can maintain trust in the system to safely meet their essential needs and to control infection risk in health facilities. This will help ensure that people continue to seek care when appropriate, and adhere to public health advice.1. Elston, J. W. T., Cartwright, C., Ndumbi, P., & Wright, J. (2017). The health impact of the 2014–15 Ebola outbreak. Public Health, 143, 60-70. 2. Parpia, A. S., Ndeffo-Mbah, M. L., Wenzel, N. S., & Galvani, A. P. (2016). Effects of response to 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak on deaths from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, West Africa. Emerging infectious diseases, 22(3), 433. For interviews please contact: Tarik JasarevicTo access the full guidance please visit: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/maintaining-essential-health-services-and-systemsFor further information and guidance on COVID-19 please visit: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Medical Product Alert N°2/2020
on 31st March 2020 at 7:46 am
This Medical Product Alert relates to a confirmed falsified human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in vitro diagnostic medical device (IVD) that has been identified circulating in Guyana and Kenya. Through its Global Surveillance and Monitoring System (GSMS) for substandard/falsified medical products, WHO was informed that at least 8,240 falsified rapid diagnostic tests to detect HIV-1/2 have been distributed in Guyana at end-user level. The product is Uni-Gold™ HIV and claims to be manufactured by Trinity Biotech plc. Subsequent reports revealed that the same falsified product is also circulating in Kenya.Uni-Gold™ HIV is a single-use rapid diagnostic test – an immunoassay for the qualitative detection of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in serum, plasma and whole blood. Uni-Gold™ HIV is intended for use in point of care settings as an aid in diagnosis of HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection.The WHO testing strategy recommends three HIV reactive test results to confirm an HIV-positive status in a patient. The use of this falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, subject of WHO medical product alert n°2 of 2020, is likely to lead to delayed diagnosis of HIV status.Table 1: Specific details of the falsified product Uni-Gold™ HIV, subject of WHO Medical Product Alert n°2 of 2020Product NameUni-Gold™ HIVLot NumberHIV7120026Expiry Date5 DEC 2020Stated manufacturerTrinity BiotechThe packaging of this falsified HIV test kit is in English.The genuine manufacturer (Trinity Biotech plc) has confirmed that:They did not manufacture the falsified product in Table 1.Genuine lot HIV7120026 was made by Trinity Biotech plc and expired in 2019.The expiry date is incorrect and does not correspond with their batch manufacturing records.Photographs and advice to the public are available below.Figure 1 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, lot number HIV7120026, displaying falsified expiry date Figure 2 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, displaying labelling inconsistencies Advice on action to be taken by end-users:Please check to see if any Uni-Gold™ HIV test kits in your facility have lot number HIV7120026.If you are in possession of these falsified test kits with lot number HIV7120026:Please do not use.Please immediately contact the organization that supplied you with the product (either your HIV testing programme, nongovernmental organization or local distributor).Please contact Trinity Biotech plcPhone : +353 1 276 9800E-mail : email@example.comPlease contact your national health authoritiesAll medical products must be obtained from authentic and reliable sources. Their authenticity and condition should be carefully checked.Advice on action to be taken by national health authorities:WHO requests increased scrutiny within the supply chains of all countries, particularly at testing sites (health facilities, community-based), clinical laboratories, medical stores/warehouses, and at the facilities of relevant economic operators (agents, authorized representatives, distributors, wholesalers, etc.).If these falsified test kits with lot number HIV7120026 are discovered, please do not use.National health authorities are asked to immediately inform WHO, if these falsified products are discovered in their country using the WHO IVD complaint form.If you have any information concerning the manufacture, distribution, or supply of this product, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for Substandard and Falsified Medical ProductsFor further information, please visit our website: https://www.who.int/medicines/regulation/ssffc/en/
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Bacteria, Mitochondria, & Periodontal Disease
by Alvin Danenberg, DDS on 27th March 2020 at 9:00 pm
Being a periodontist who wants to tell a story, I’ll get into mitochondria’s influence on periodontal disease. Do you like science fiction? I’ve got a story to tell you that sounds like a simulating SciFi movie. My trailer to the movie would talk about the invasion of bacteria into an entity that eventually becomes a… The post Bacteria, Mitochondria, & Periodontal Disease appeared first on Ask the Dentist.
Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste: What It Is, Benefits, & Best Brands
by Mark Burhenne, DDS on 16th March 2020 at 4:14 pm
A new kind of toothpaste has come onto the scene, challenging fluoride’s #1 seat at the cavity-defense table. But does hydroxyapatite (HAp) really work to protect and strengthen teeth? Is it safe? Should you use it? In this article, you’ll learn how HAp toothpaste works, why I recommend it over fluoride for optimal oral health,… The post Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste: What It Is, Benefits, & Best Brands appeared first on Ask the Dentist.
7 Ways To Prepare Your Child With Autism For A Trip To Dentist
by Ava Wadaby on 19th February 2020 at 5:58 pm
Dental offices can be scary for children, with its unfamiliar sounds and smells and tastes. A first dental visit might challenge all five senses with unfamiliarity. It is overwhelming for a child who has autism spectrum disorder (or many other kinds of special needs, like Down syndrome). For the parent of the child with autism,… The post 7 Ways To Prepare Your Child With Autism For A Trip To Dentist appeared first on Ask the Dentist.
Invisible Risks of X-Rays [Are dental x-rays safe?]
by Alvin Danenberg, DDS on 13th February 2020 at 6:29 pm
You can’t see them, smell them, or feel them. They’re invisible. But they can penetrate your body, accumulate over time, and damage human cells. And most importantly, they can cause cancer! I’m referring to x-rays, which are a form of low-dose ionizing radiation. Don’t get me wrong — X-rays are the only means for dentists… The post Invisible Risks of X-Rays [Are dental x-rays safe?] appeared first on Ask the Dentist.
Scientific Meeting » Virtual Workshop: Transforming the Practice of Mental Health Care
by National Institute of Mental Health on 2nd April 2020 at 4:00 am
On April 2, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will host a virtual workshop on Transforming the Practice of Mental Health Care to explore how big data and artificial intelligence can transform care for individuals living with mental illness.
Science News » Fast-Fail Trial Shows New Approach to Identifying Brain Targets for Clinical Treatments
by Anna Mikulak on 30th March 2020 at 4:00 am
An innovative NIMH-funded trial shows that a receptor involved in the brain’s reward system may be a viable target for treating anhedonia (or lack of pleasure), a key symptom of several mood and anxiety disorders.
Scientific Meeting » Expanding Career Pathways for Youth and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Employment as a Social Determinant of Health
by National Institute of Mental Health on 23rd March 2020 at 4:00 am
NIMH is holding a free webinar on March 23 from 3:00-4:00 pm ET on expanding career pathways and opportunities for youth and young adults on the autism spectrum.
Audio » Dr. Laura Lewis: Pushing fMRI into New Realms
by National Institute of Mental Health on 16th March 2020 at 4:00 am
Dr. Peter Bandettini sits down with Dr. Laura Lewis, an NIMH-supported researcher at Boston University, to discuss her groundbreaking work using fMRI to study the importance of sleep for the brain.
Blog Post » Coping With Coronavirus: Managing Stress, Fear, and Anxiety
by Joshua Gordon on 16th March 2020 at 4:00 am
Each person responds to stress in different ways. In this Director’s message, Dr. Gordon talks about managing fear, anxiety, and stress related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Feeling Stressed? Try These Essential Oils for Anxiety
by Maddy Rodriguez on 18th March 2020 at 3:00 pm
“Stop and smell the roses” is one of the most famous sayings of all time, yet did you know that there’s medicine in those words? Delightful floral aromas bring joy, peace, happy memories — and even good health. Whether rose, lavender, or ylang-ylang, essential oils can bring you relief for daily stress and anxiety. Jennifer B., a writer from Wisconsin, discovered how beneficial essential oils could be firsthand. In 2007, as a newlywed, she learned her husband was in the path of a tornado — and she wasn’t home to The post Feeling Stressed? Try These Essential Oils for Anxiety appeared first on Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles.
Got Happiness? Learn How to Boost Dopamine & Create Your Own Joy!
by Maddy Rodriguez on 16th March 2020 at 3:00 pm
What does happiness mean to you? We all know money can’t buy it, and not even the most enterprising of entrepreneurs have figured out how to bottle it. No matter how hard they try, experts can’t seem to crack the code on how to be happy. The good news? When you modify your daily routine in small ways, you can increase the neurotransmitter dopamine. One of the main effects of dopamine is boosting feelings of happiness and pleasure. You hold the power to create your own happiness! Here’s how. What The post Got Happiness? Learn How to Boost Dopamine & Create Your Own Joy! appeared first on Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles.
Zinc & The Immune System: Learn How It Works
by Maddy Rodriguez on 11th March 2020 at 3:00 pm
When Thomas B., a technical director from Sherwood, Arkansas, started looking at all the benefits of taking the essential mineral zinc, he was amazed. “I started reading about zinc and knew I had to start using it,” he says. “I remember thinking: How could I be missing something this important?” Thomas takes zinc as soon as he thinks he might be coming down with a cough or cold. The key is to take zinc within 24 hours of developing symptoms because that’s when it’s most effective. “Zinc is my go-to The post Zinc & The Immune System: Learn How It Works appeared first on Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles.
My Remarkable Colon Cleanse Experience: a 7 Day Journal
by Maddy Rodriguez on 9th March 2020 at 3:00 pm
Global Healing Senior Editor Wendee Nicole decided to do the Complete Body Cleanse Program™ — a comprehensive program to detoxify and improve health that will take three to four months to complete — and it starts with a 6-day Colon Cleanse. Not everything eaten on Wendee’s cleanse experience is approved or endorsed by Dr. Group, but this was her experience trying to follow the recommended diet and protocol as closely as possible. Wendee’s Story I have a milestone birthday coming up in July, and I want to get in great The post My Remarkable Colon Cleanse Experience: a 7 Day Journal appeared first on Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles.
How to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat The Natural Way
by Maddy Rodriguez on 4th March 2020 at 4:00 pm
If you’re like me, you know that stubborn belly fat as you get older is harder and harder to get rid of. So, today I’m going to share with you some of my tips, techniques, and methods so that you can reactivate your body’s power and ability to get rid of that stubborn belly fat quickly. There is a lot of misinformation out there on how to lose belly fat. It’s probably one of the most-searched-for terms! We live in an obese society right now and it’s very unfortunate because The post How to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat The Natural Way appeared first on Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles.
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