NEWS

Jul. 3, 2020

Nationally Harris county and Houston of Texas are considered the USA in miniature as is found within it,s homeless population all races of the USA, the most diversified homeless community in America unlike in many other states and cities where they may be predominantly White, Black, Brown, Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, American Indians, and others.
Homelessness means different things to different people at different times in many places and countries and all nations and all cities in the world have some form of homelessness.
The new definition of Homelessness by HUD has four categories including, people living a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelters, in transitional housing, or are exiting an institution where they temporarily resided like prisons or jails.
Many hide their homeless population in the jails by rounding them up in the prisons behind bars. Some cities create homeless communities with shelters and social institutions to cater to the homeless like Skid Row in Los Angeles California. Homeless people are mostly considered a nuisance in society as they sleep in libraries, public parks, under bridges, in metro buses, trains, on roadsides, inside abandoned buildings most of which are considered unsafe for habitation by city leadership, county, and state and panhandle downtown and by the roadside of major streets
. Many have no respect for the homeless considering them lazy, alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes.
Health care for the homeless is one of the social programs that cater to the health needs of the Homeless population in Harris County and Houston.
During the COVID19 pandemic, the homeless population is considered one of the high risk or vulnerable populations who are also expected to respect the stay at home orders as part of COVID 19 prevention without homes to go to or stay in.
The city of Houston and Harris County have worked tirelessly during the Covid19 pandemic season to temporarily House many Homeless people in hotels, some of the rooms reserved for COVID 19 homeless population isolation and or quarantine.
In trying to find a permanent solution to Homelessness in Houston and Harris county, Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston and the Harris County Judge Hildago have announced a $65 million homeless initiative partnership, a form of Public-Private partnership or PPP to provide housing for the Homeless.
The announcement took place on the 7/1/2020in the city of Houston Gallery room during a press conference with speakers including Mayor Turner, Judge Hildago, county Commissioners Elis, and Garcia, head of the City of Houston homeless office and, president of the Houston Coalition of the Homeless.
The speakers, in answering questions from Dr. Akwo Thompson Ntuba related to the multifactorial causes of Homelessness, how to deal with those who enjoy living outside as a way of life and how much of the money will end up in administrative cost, agreed that mental services, addiction treatment, criminal justice programming, jobs, retraining for placement for those homeless because of loss of jobs, reentry for those associated with the criminal justice system, domestic abuse victims and related causes of Homelessness will be factored in the initiative.
Judge Hildago and Mayor Turner invited the business private sector to come on board and contribute as partners in the initiative that will be mostly run by the Coalition of the Homeless and house more than fifteen thousand more Homeless people.
Dr. Akwo Thompson Ntuba

Jul. 2, 2020


Jul. 2, 2020
Brazzaville, 2 July 2020 – As African countries begin to reopen borders and air spaces, it is crucial that governments take effective measures to mitigate the risk of a surge in infections due to the resumption of commercial flights and airport operations.

Many African governments acted swiftly, implementing confinement and travel restrictions in the early days of the pandemic. In the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region, 36 countries closed their borders to international travel, eight suspended flights from countries with high COVID-19 transmission and others had partial or no restrictions. So far Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania and Zambia have resumed commercial flights. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States is expected to open their airspace on 21 July.

While open borders are vital for the free flow of goods and people, initial analysis by WHO found that lockdowns along with public health measures reduced the spread of COVID-19. Even with border restrictions, imported cases have sometimes brought back COVID-19 to countries which had not reported cases for a length of time. For example, Seychelles had not had a locally transmitted case since 6 April 2020, but in the last week 66 new cases – all crew members of an international fishing vessel – have been recorded.

“Air travel is vital to the economic health of countries,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “But as we take to the skies again, we cannot let our guard down. Our new normal still requires stringent measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.”

To resume international air travel, WHO recommends that countries assess the epidemiological situation to determine whether maintaining restrictions outweighs the economic costs of reopening borders if, for instance, there is widespread transmission of the virus. It is also crucial to determine whether the health system can cope with a spike in imported cases and whether the surveillance and contact tracing system can reliably detect and monitor cases.

It is important that countries have systems in place at points of entry including airports. Comprehensive entry and exit screening should be considered based on risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, and as part of the overall national response strategy. Such screening may target, as a priority, direct flights from areas with community transmission. In addition, observance of preventive measures such as personal hygiene, cough etiquette, physical distancing remains crucial. Passengers should be registered and followed up, and if they develop symptoms be advised to inform health authorities.

“The resumption of commercial flights in Africa will facilitate the delivery of crucial supplies such as testing kits, personal protective equipment and other essential health commodities to areas which need them most,” Dr Moeti said. “It will also ensure that experts, who can support the response can finally get on the ground and work.”

The impact of COVID-19 on airlines is likely to be severe. African airlines could lose US$ 6 billion of passenger revenue compared to 2019 and job losses in aviation and related industries could grow to 3.1 million, half of the region’s 6.2 million aviation-related employment, according to the International Air Transport Association.

In the worst-case scenario, international air traffic in Africa could see a 69% drop in international traffic capacity and 59% decline in domestic capacity, according to an analysis by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Together with the World Economic Forum, WHO held a virtual press conference today with Dr Moeti, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission and Prosper Zo'o Minto'o, Regional Director, Western and Central African Office, International Civil Aviation Organization.

Notes to editors:

Within the WHO system, Africa is divided between two regional offices. The WHO Regional Office for Africa comprises 47 countries which include Algeria and most of sub-Saharan Africa.

Jul. 1, 2020

UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange 2020 opens ahead of the International AIDS Conference

The UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange’s global event, HIEx2020, will feature health-related innovations from around the world and facilitate discussions around innovation in health

GENEVA, 1 July 2020—The UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange global event, HIEx2020, has opened, showcasing a virtual marketplace of more than 25 innovations for health from around the world. This year, the event, which is taking place ahead of the 2020 International AIDS Conference, has a special focus on COVID-19.

The innovations presented in the marketplace aim to respond to some of the most critical health challenges faced by countries and communities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Innovations range from products to detect counterfeit medicines and illicit substances to digital solutions such as telemedicine platforms that provide remote online medical services, mobile applications to promote the sexual health of young people and COVID-19 diagnostics.

“We need social innovations and to leverage technology to achieve better health outcomes. We need radical game-changers for adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa to address persisting inequalities,” said Shannon Hader, Deputy Executive Director, Programme, UNAIDS. “The AIDS response has demonstrated that innovations driven by the passion of communities can transform health-care access and reach the most marginalized.”

One of the featured innovations uses ultraviolet-free LED lighting technology to kill viruses and bacteria, which has recently demonstrated high effectiveness on the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The HIEx2020 programme will run over two days (1 and 2 July) and will feature key leaders in health and innovation. The programme of high-level events includes Lessons from COVID-19: Innovating to Future-Proof our Health Systems, Young People’s Access to Digital Health and Changing Healthcare through Innovations.

Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, will deliver a keynote address focused on leveraging innovation and leadership for global health. “Innovation must be part of the health-care DNA, leaving no one behind,” said Ms Gabriel. “But no individual continent, country or institution can win this race on its own. It takes a global effort and political commitment.”

HIEx2020 will feature a special spotlight on solar energy for health through a high-level discussion with ministers of health and energy from several countries, which is organized in collaboration with the International Solar Alliance. Primary health facilities in several countries lack reliable power, which not only limits quality of services but also prevents the take-up of digital health tools for scaling up access to health care. 

“Solar energy can ensure better availability and quality of health services in areas where there is a challenge of access to energy,” said Upendra Tripathy, the Director-General of the International Solar Alliance. “We should work towards scaling up solar energy as an agent for transforming primary health care in developing countries.”

Innovations for COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the crucial importance of ensuring that health systems are resilient and that countries have the necessary technologies and capacities to respond effectively to health crises.

The UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange has been an early supporter of tracking COVID-19-related innovations. As the COVID-19 pandemic was rapidly spreading in March 2020, UNAIDS and the UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange teamed up with StartupBlink to launch a dynamic online map of COVID-19-related innovations. The map now has more than 30 000 monthly users and includes details of more than 1000 initiatives from around the world. As part of HIEx2020, the UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange and StartupBlink will launch an in-depth analysis of the COVID-19 initiatives in an Innovation Ecosystem Report, which will measure and rank cities and countries globally in terms of innovation for COVID-19.

To visit HIEx2020 go to: https://event.healthinnovation.exchange/


UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange

Launched by UNAIDS in Geneva, Switzerland, in May 2019, the UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange identifies challenges faced by implementers and connects them with innovations that have high potential for impact, and links with investors to scale up the sustainable solutions. The UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange builds upon the expertise of political leaders, health experts, technology and science leaders, innovators, investors, accelerators, communities and implementers in countries, and advocates for indigenous solutions, local production and multisectoral partnerships.

Note: inclusion in the UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange marketplace does not equal endorsement of the innovation by UNAIDS or the UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange.

 
UNAIDS
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.  
Jun. 30, 2020

On China’s Coercive Family Planning and Forced Sterilization Program in Xinjiang
06/29/2020 03:17 PM EDT

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression. German researcher Adrian Zenz’s shocking revelations are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity. We call on the Chinese Communist Party to immediately end these horrific practices and ask all nations to join the United States in demanding an end to these dehumanizing abuses.

Jun. 30, 2020

 

Timeline of WHO’s response to COVID-19
Last updated 29 June 2020

29 June 2020 - Statement​

WHO provides this timeline of the organization’s COVID-19 response activities for general information. WHO will update the timeline on a regular basis and in light of evolving events and new information. Unless noted otherwise, country-specific information and data are as reported to WHO by its Member States. 

This timeline supersedes the WHO Rolling Updates and WHO Timeline statement published in April 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive and does not contain details of every event or WHO activity. 

As of 29 June 2020, the following milestones and events focused on COVID-19 have taken place: 

  • The Director-General and Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme have held 74 media briefings. The Director-General's opening remarkstranscripts, videos and audio recordings for these media briefings are available online.
  • There have been 23 Member State Briefings and information sessions.
  • EPI-WIN, WHO’s information network for epidemics, has convened 60 technical webinars, making available 287 expert panellists to more than 13,500 participants, from more than 120 countries and territories, with representation from as many as 460 organizations.
  • The OpenWHO platform has had more than 3.7 million enrolments, about 80% of which are in COVID-19 courses. Free training is available on 13 different topics translated into 31 languages to support the coronavirus response, for a total of 100 COVID-19 courses.
  • WHO’s landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines lists 17 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation and 132 in preclinical evaluation.

In addition to the selected guidance included below, all of WHO’s technical guidance on COVID-19 can be found online here. 

All events listed below are in the Geneva, Switzerland time zone (CET/CEST). Note that the dates listed for documents are based on when they were finalised and timestamped.

Best Regards,
WHO Media Team