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- Epidemiological update: COVID-19 transmission in the EU/EEA, SARS-CoV-2 variants, and public health considerations for Autumn 2023by ECDC on October 3, 2023 at 8:23 am
In recent weeks, signals of SARS-CoV-2 transmission have increased from previously very low levels in the EU/EEA.
- ECDC Director: Protect people’s health this autumn through vaccination and other preventive measuresby ECDC on October 3, 2023 at 8:23 am
Statement from ECDC Director Andrea Ammon on the current state of influenza, RSV and COVID-19 with the arrival of autumn and winter.
- Communicable disease threats report, 10-16 September 2023, week 37by ECDC on October 3, 2023 at 8:23 am
This issue of the ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) covers the period 10-16 September 2023 and includes updates on COVID-19, diphtheria, West Nile virus, avian influenza, dengue, legionnaires' disease, the Rugby World Cup 2023, cutaneous Anthrax, pertussis, botulism and severe floods.
- Data on testing for COVID-19 by week and countryby ECDC on October 3, 2023 at 8:23 am
Data in multiple file formats with information about testing volume for COVID-19, sorted by week and country, and updated on a weekly basis.
- Communicable disease threats report, 17-23 September 2023, week 38by ECDC on October 3, 2023 at 8:23 am
This issue of the ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) covers the period 17-23 September 2023 and includes updates on Nipah virus disease, severe floods, COVID-19, West Nile Virus, Poliomyelitis, and mass gathering monitoring for the Rugby World Cup 2023.
News (English) - World Health Organization Corporate news releases, statements, and notes for media issued by the World Health Organization.
- 18 million doses of first-ever malaria vaccine allocated to 12 African countries for 2023–2025: Gavi, WHO and UNICEFon July 5, 2023 at 2:12 pm
In response to high demand for the first-ever malaria vaccine, 12 countries in Africa will be allocated a total of 18 million doses of RTS,S/AS01 for the 2023–2025 periodMalaria Vaccine Implementation Programme countries Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will receive doses to continue vaccinations in pilot areasAllocations were also made for new introductions in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone and Uganda Twelve countries across different regions in Africa are set to receive 18 million doses of the first-ever malaria vaccine over the next two years. The roll out is a critical step forward in the fight against one of the leading causes of death on the continent.The allocations have been determined through the application of the principles outlined in the Framework for allocation of limited malaria vaccine supply that prioritizes those doses to areas of highest need, where the risk of malaria illness and death among children are highest.Since 2019, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have been delivering the malaria vaccine through the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme (MVIP), coordinated by WHO and funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Unitaid. The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine has been administered to more than 1.7 million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019 and has been shown to be safe and effective, resulting in both a substantial reduction in severe malaria and a fall in child deaths. At least 28 African countries have expressed interest in receiving the malaria vaccine.In addition to Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, the initial 18 million dose allocation will enable nine more countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone and Uganda, to introduce the vaccine into their routine immunization programmes for the first time. This allocation round makes use of the supply of vaccine doses available to Gavi, Vaccine Alliance via UNICEF. The first doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in countries during the last quarter of 2023, with countries starting to roll them out by early 2024. “This vaccine has the potential to be very impactful in the fight against malaria, and when broadly deployed alongside other interventions, it can prevent tens of thousands of future deaths every year,” said Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director of Country Programmes Delivery at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “While we work with manufacturers to help ramp up supply, we need to make sure the doses that we do have are used as effectively as possible, which means applying all the learnings from our pilot programmes as we broaden out to a new total of 12 countries.”Malaria remains one of Africa’s deadliest diseases, killing nearly half a million children under the age of 5, and accounting for approximately 95% of global malaria cases and 96% of deaths in 2021. “Nearly every minute, a child under 5 years old dies of malaria,” said UNICEF Associate Director of Immunization Ephrem T Lemango. “For a long time, these deaths have been preventable and treatable; but the roll-out of this vaccine will give children, especially in Africa, an even better chance at surviving. As supply increases, we hope even more children can benefit from this life-saving advancement.”“The malaria vaccine is a breakthrough to improve child health and child survival; and families and communities, rightly, want this vaccine for their children. This first allocation of malaria vaccine doses is prioritised for children at highest risk of dying of malaria,” said Dr Kate O’Brien, WHO Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals. “The high demand for the vaccine and the strong reach of childhood immunisation will increase equity in access to malaria prevention and save many young lives. We will work tirelessly to increase supply until all children at risk have access.”Given the limited supply in the first years of the roll-out of this new vaccine, in 2022, WHO convened expert advisors, primarily from Africa – where the burden of malaria is greatest – to support the development of a Framework for the allocation of limited malaria vaccine supply, to guide where initial limited doses would be allocated. The Framework is based on ethical principles on a foundation of solidarity; and it proposes that vaccine allocation begin in the areas of greatest need. The Framework implementation group that applied the framework principles included representatives of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), UNICEF, WHO and the Gavi Secretariat, as well as representatives of civil society and independent advisors. The group’s recommendations were reviewed and endorsed by the Senior Leadership Endorsement Group of Gavi, WHO and UNICEF. Annual global demand for malaria vaccines is estimated at 40–60 million doses by 2026 alone, growing to 80–100 million doses each year by 2030. In addition to the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine, developed and produced by GSK, and in the future supplied by Bharat Biotech, it is expected that a second vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, developed by Oxford University and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), could also be prequalified by WHO soon. Gavi has recently outlined its roadmap to support increasing supply to meet demand.NOTES TO EDITORSUseful documents:First malaria vaccine supply allocations: explanation of process and outcomesGavi White Paper on Malaria Vaccine Market ShapingWHO Q&A on the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccineUNICEF Q&A on malaria vaccine supply, price and market shapingAbout Gavi, the Vaccine AllianceGavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organisations that fund Gavi’s work here.Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 1 billion children – and prevented more than 16.2 million future deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningococcal and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation, above all the zero-dose children who have not received even a single vaccine shot. The Vaccine Alliance employs innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.Gavi is a co-convener of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. In its role, Gavi is focused on procurement and delivery for COVAX: coordinating the design, implementation and administration of the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery.About UNICEFUNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.orgFollow UNICEF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTubeAbout WHODedicated to the well-being of all people and guided by science, the World Health Organization leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance at a safe and healthy life. We are the UN agency for health that connects nations, partners and people on the front lines in 150+ locations – leading the world’s response to health emergencies, preventing disease, addressing the root causes of health issues and expanding access to medicines and health care. Our mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.Visit: www.who.int
- Women and girls bear brunt of water and sanitation crisis – new UNICEF-WHO reporton July 5, 2023 at 10:15 am
Women and girls responsible for fetching water in 7 out of 10 households without supplies on premises, according to first in-depth analysis of gender inequalities in drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in householdsGlobally, women are most likely to be responsible for fetching water for households, while girls are nearly twice as likely as boys to bear the responsibility, and spend more time doing it each day, according to a new report released today by UNICEF and WHO. Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) 2000-2022: Special focus on gender – which provides the first in-depth analysis of gender inequalities in WASH – also notes that women and girls are more likely to feel unsafe using a toilet outside of the home and disproportionately feel the impact of lack of hygiene.“Every step a girl takes to collect water is a step away from learning, play, and safety,” said Cecilia Sharp, UNICEF Director of WASH and CEED. “Unsafe water, toilets, and handwashing at home robs girls of their potential, compromises their well-being, and perpetuates cycles of poverty. Responding to girls’ needs in the design and implementation of WASH programmes is critical to reaching universal access to water and sanitation and achieving gender equality and empowerment.”According to the report, globally, 1.8 billion people live in households without water supplies on the premises. Women and girls aged 15 and older are primarily responsible for water collection in 7 out of 10 such households, compared with 3 in 10 households for their male peers. Girls under 15 (7 %) are also more likely than boys under 15 (4 %) to fetch water. In most cases, women and girls make longer journeys to collect it, losing time in education, work, and leisure, and putting themselves at risk of physical injury and dangers on the way.The report also shows that more than half a billion people still share sanitation facilities with other households, compromising women’s and girls’ privacy, dignity, and safety. For example, recent surveys from 22 countries show that among households with shared toilets, women and girls are more likely than men and boys to feel unsafe walking alone at night and face sexual harassment and other safety risks. Furthermore, inadequate WASH services increase health risks for women and girls and limit their ability to safely and privately manage their periods. Among 51 countries with available data, women and adolescent girls in the poorest households and those with disabilities are the most likely to lack a private place to wash and change.“The latest data from WHO shows a stark reality: 1.4 million lives are lost each year due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Environment, Climate Change and Health Department. “Women and girls not only face WASH-related infectious diseases, like diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections, they face additional health risks because they are vulnerable to harassment, violence, and injury when they have to go outside the home to haul water or just to use the toilet."The findings go on to show that a lack of access to hygiene also disproportionately affects women and girls. In many countries, women and girls are primarily responsible for domestic chores and caring for others – including cleaning, preparing food, and looking after the sick – which likely exposes them to diseases and other risks to their health without the protection of handwashing. Additional time spent on domestic chores can also limit girls’ chances of completing secondary school and gaining employment. Today, around 2.2 billion people – or 1 in 4 – still lack safely managed drinking water at home and 3.4 billion people – or 2 in 5 – do not have safely managed sanitation. Around 2 billion people – or 1 in 4 – cannot wash their hands with soap and water at home.The report notes some progress towards achieving universal access to WASH. Between 2015 and 2022, household access to safely managed drinking water increased from 69 to 73 %; safely managed sanitation increased from 49 to 57 %; and basic hygiene services increased from 67 to 75 %. But achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target for universal access to safely managed drinking water, sanitation, and basic hygiene services by 2030 will require a six-fold increase in current rates of progress for safely managed drinking water, a five-fold increase for safely managed sanitation, and a three-fold increase for basic hygiene services.Further efforts are needed to ensure that progress on WASH contributes towards gender equality, including integrated gender considerations in WASH programmes and policies and disaggregated data collection and analysis, to inform targeted interventions that address the specific needs of women and girls and other vulnerable groups.Notes to editors: The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report – Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2022: Special focus on gender – compiles data on global progress towards achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), including emerging data on menstrual health and hygiene. For the first time, the report provides an in-depth analysis of gender inequalities, highlighting the risks women and girls face from inadequate access to safe WASH in those countries for which national statistics are available.Access the report and data here. Download multimedia content here.About UNICEFUNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org Follow UNICEF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTubeAbout WHODedicated to the well-being of all people and guided by science, the World Health Organization leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance at a safe and healthy life. We are the UN agency for health that connects nations, partners and people on the front lines in 150+ locations – leading the world’s response to health emergencies, preventing disease, addressing the root causes of health issues and expanding access to medicines and health care. Our mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.Visit www.who.int and follow WHO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube. About JMP The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene is responsible for monitoring global progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets and indicators relating drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The JMP produces national, regional and global estimates of progress on WASH in households, schools and health care facilities.
- Sudan: top UN officials sound alarm at spike in violence against women and girlson July 4, 2023 at 1:23 pm
Senior United Nations officials today voiced shock and condemnation at increasing reports of gender-based violence in Sudan – including conflict-related sexual violence against internally displaced and refugee women and girls – since fighting erupted in the country more than 11 weeks ago.
- OCHA and WHO annual consultationon June 27, 2023 at 8:24 am
Geneva, 21 June - Representatives of WHO and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) focused their annual financial and management review meeting on strengthening their 18-year partnership to prevent and respond to humanitarian crises.Both agencies provided updates: WHO on its emergency operations and the WHO Global Health Appeal, and OCHA on its funding mechanisms for emergencies and strategic priorities. Discussions also touched on the urgency of early data sharing in disease outbreaks and the role of innovation in emergency prevention and response – both examples of joint priorities and areas of collaboration moving forward.“OCHA and WHO share a responsibility to deliver to those in need, wherever and whenever emergencies or disasters occur,” said Graham McNeill of WHO’s Department of Strategic Engagement, who participated in the 21 June meeting.Alice Armanni Sequi, Chief of OCHA’s Pooled Fund Management Branch, said OCHA and WHO must work together innovatively “to get the most value out of our resources for the people we serve. It is also important to articulate our strategic impact in funding proposals, and demonstrate how funds are being catalytic in humanitarian operations” she added.WHO staff thanked OCHA for the longstanding partnership and recognized the contributions received by WHO through the different mechanisms that enable the agencies’ lifesaving work.OCHA contributed US$ 201 million to WHO in 2020-21, making it WHO’s third largest donor for outbreak, crisis and response. OCHA provides funds for WHO’s work through two pooled funding mechanisms: the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and Country-Based Pool Funds (CBPFs). In 2022, WHO received US$64 million from CERF and US$ 43 million from CBPFs.Recent examples where CERF and CBPFs have supported WHO’s health emergencies and humanitarian response are: armed conflicts in Ukraine, Northern Ethiopia and South Sudan; the aftermath of Syria’s massive earthquake and Vanuatu’s cyclones; cholera outbreaks in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe; drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel region, Kenya and Afghanistan; and outbreaks of Ebola, cholera, COVID-19 and Dengue fever around the globe.CERF finances rapid response to humanitarian operations and neglected crises, while CBPFs, now operating in 19 countries, support local humanitarian efforts and complement other such funding. These ways of funding enable WHO to immediately respond to disease outbreaks, conflicts, natural disasters and protracted humanitarian crises. The funds fill the gap when no other financing exists or is not immediately available.
- Multilateral development banks and WHO launch new investment platform to strengthen primary health care serviceson June 22, 2023 at 4:48 pm
In a landmark development aimed at investing in and strengthening essential, climate and crisis-resilient primary health care (PHC) services in low- and low-and-middle income countries (LICs and LMICs), three multilateral development banks have joined with WHO to launch the new Health Impact Investment Platform.