WHO and ITU launch new guide on introduction of dementia risk reduction and carer support programmes using mobile technology
#WHO; #mDementiaHandbook; #mHealthProgramme; #BHBM
Geneva/Canadian-Media: WHO’s new mDementia handbook, launched today, will help countries to introduce and scale up dementia mHealth programmes (delivered through mobile devices, such as phones and tablets). The handbook and accompanying mHealth programme content includes a module on reducing the risk of dementia and another on support for carers of people with dementia. The handbook was developed by the WHO Mental Health and Substance Use Department and BeHe@lthy BeMobile (BHBM), a joint initiative between the World Health Organization and the International Telecommunications Union.
Dementia Archives. Image credit: trioRehabilitation
The first of the modules, mDemention
Prevention, aims to encourage people who are middle-aged or older to manage modifiable risk factors, such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diets and harmful use of alcohol, to delay the onset or slow the progression of dementia. The second module, DementiaSupport, is based on WHO’s skills and knowledge training programme for carers of people with dementia, iSupport. It provides tailored support to address the physical and mental health impacts associated with caring for people with dementia.
The mDementia Handbook outlines how an mHealth programme can be used to strengthen existing dementia prevention and carer support programmes. It sets out the steps and considerations for successfully implementing mDementia at scale. The content can be adapted to support countries’ own national guidelines and existing health system interventions and to the local context and culture.
#UNICEF; #ChildrenHealth; #Covid19
UNICEF/Canadian-Media: COVID-19 is the first truly global crisis we have seen in our lifetime. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person – children most of all. Millions are missing out on basic health services, education and protection simply because they were born into poverty or because of their ethnicity, religion or race. COVID-19 has widened this inequality gap and the social, economic and health impacts of the pandemic will reverberate for years to come, threatening child rights.
UNICEF Logo. Image credit: Pinterest
As we kick off UNICEF’s 75th anniversary, we are reminded that this organization was created in the midst of another historic crisis in the aftermath of World War II. Back then, it would have been easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of the problems facing children in a war-ravaged world. But we reimagined what was possible. We built new health and welfare systems around the world. We defeated smallpox. We built the United Nations.
Here are five opportunities for the world’s children revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and five lessons on how we can reimagine a better future for them, as reflected in the voices of young people.
#UN; #Covid19Vaccine; #EquitableDistribution
UN/Canadian-Media: International partners working to achieve equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines appealed on Wednesday for the UN Security Council to ensure people caught in conflict have access to these lifesaving treatments.
UN. Image credit: Twitter handle
Addressing the virtual meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the goal of providing vaccines to all as “the biggest moral test before the global community”, underlining that everyone, everywhere must be included.
“Defeating COVID-19, now that we have begun to have the scientific capacity to do so, is more important than ever”, he said.
“Yet progress on vaccinations has been wildly uneven and unfair. Just 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all COVID-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, more than 130 countries have not received a single dose. Those affected by conflict and insecurity are at particular risk of being left behind”.
Global Vaccination Plan
The UN and partners have established the COVAX Facility so that all countries will have access to vaccines, regardless of their wealth. The global mechanism must be fully funded, the Secretary-General said.
“But we must do even more”, he added. “The world urgently needs a Global Vaccination Plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise and production and financial capacities”.
Mr. Guterres proposed that the world’s richest countries, the G20 nations, form an Emergency Task Force to prepare the plan and coordinate its implementation and financing.
The task force would work to mobilize pharmaceutical companies and key industry and logistics actors, he said, underlining the UN’s readiness to support this effort.
An historic effort
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is assisting countries in preparation for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, aiming to procure two billion doses by the end of the year.
“This historic effort deserves historic support”, said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “Help us ensure that the light at the end of the tunnel shines on us all — including the families and communities enduring the horrors of conflict”.
Ms. Fore underscored that the Council’s support is necessary for getting countries to ensure that all people are included in national vaccination plans, regardless of their status or if they live in areas not under government control.
She further highlighted the need for a global ceasefire, in line with the Secretary-General’s appeal issued last March, while immunization campaigns against measles, polio and other diseases, which were paused during the pandemic, must also resume.
“We cannot allow the fight against one deadly disease to cause us to lose ground in the fight against others”, she said.
Build community trust
The COVAX facility also includes a proposed “safety net” to provide vaccines for high-risk populations in humanitarian settings, according to Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO at GAVI, the vaccine alliance. He stressed that this buffer is a measure of last resort.
“I ask that the UN Security Council reinforce this message so that available doses are distributed to ensure truly equitable access, in accordance with the humanitarian principles and in upholding state obligations towards populations within their territory”, he said.
The Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), also briefed the Council.
Jagan Chapagain, spoke of the importance of fostering trust amid high levels of vaccine hesitancy. He said communities can clearly see the inequalities and unfairness in COVID-19 vaccine access.
“The fair and equitable distribution of vaccines is essential to building trust and for maintaining international peace and preventing violence”, he said. “This is about more than fairness. This is about stopping the virus”.
#UN; #Covid19VaccineRolloutPlan; #UNICEF; #WorldsLeadingAirlines
New York/Canadian-Media: The world’s leading airlines are backing a landmark UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) initiative to prioritize delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines and other critical supplies across the globe.
UNICEF delivers essential medical equipment to Uganda in early February. Image credit: © UNICEF/Maria Nabatanzi
More than 10 airlines are signing agreements with the UN agency to support its ‘Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative’, which will also act as a global logistics preparedness mechanism for other humanitarian and health crises over the longer term.
“Delivery of these life-saving vaccines is a monumental and complex undertaking, considering the sheer volumes that need to be transported, the cold chain requirements, the number of expected deliveries and the diversity of routes” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF Supply Division.
Protecting scores of people
Airlines covering routes to over 100 countries will support the COVAX Facility – the global effort aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Beginning this year and subject to all requirements being met and allocation plans finalized, 145 countries will receive doses to immunize an average of three per cent of their populations.
This is according to the COVAX facility’s first-round allocation plan.
In addition to prioritizing the shipments of life-saving supplies, the airlines will take measures, such as temperature control and security, while also adding freight capacity to routes, as needed.
UNICEF stressed that their commitments are essential to the “timely and secure delivery” of vaccines and critical supplies.
“Safe, timely and efficient transportation of life-saving supplies is critical to supporting access to essential services for children and families”, said UNICEF.
Moreover, COVAX deliveries and the subsequent vaccination of frontline workers will support health and social care systems to safely resume these critical services.
#BillGates; #Microsoft; #Bill&MelindaGatesFoundation; #GlobalPandemic
Canada/Canadian-Media: For years, Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates had been warning about the global pandemic.
Bill Gates. Image credit: Facebook page
His 2015 TED talk was also titled: "The Next Outbreak? We're not ready."
Now that he’s been proven right, he’s focused on what happens next. And he doesn’t sound as pessimistic as you might think.
"The pandemic is an incredible tragedy. We weren't prepared for it. We bungled it once it came. But there's some brilliant things going on," said Gates in an interview with CBC Radio’s The Current, CBC News reported.
As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has donated $1.75 billion to the fight against COVID-19, which has shown great strides in global health, including the development of mRNA vaccines to help end other deadly diseases.
"It'll help us with polio eradication, malaria, measles, all that area that causes so many deaths, mostly in poor countries," he said and added,
"The amount of innovation which countries, because they've lost trillions, are now willing to fund ... we're going to make great progress in global health and that will help us not just be ready for the next pandemic."
More awareness should be created in the media, said Gates to be more creative in making more people aware of the truth. Being a target of a series of conspiracy theories, including that COVID-19 was created by him in a lab and that he's behind a plan to implant microchips in people to fight the virus.
"There's like millions of messages saying those things," he said. "I hope that we can make the truth more interesting than the conspiracy theory," CBC News reported.