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News (English) - World Health Organization

WHO and partners call for urgent investment in nurses
A new report, The State of the World’s Nursing 2020, provides an in-depth look at the largest component of the health workforce. Findings identify important gaps in the nursing workforce and priority areas for investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership to strengthen nursing around the world and improve health for all.



First ever State of the World’s Nursing report launched amid COVID19 pandemic

7 April 2020 - Nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers, providing vital services throughout the health system. Around the world they are demonstrating their compassion, bravery and courage as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and never before has their value been more clearly demonstrated.

A new report, by WHO in partnership with the International Council of Nurses and Nursing Now, released today, reveals that, there are just under 28 million nurses worldwide. Between 2013 and 2018, nursing numbers increased by 4.7 million. But this still leaves a global shortfall of 5.9 million - with the greatest gaps found in countries in Africa, South East Asia and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region as well as some parts of Latin America.

The State of the World’s Nursing 2020, provides an in-depth look at the largest component of the health workforce. Findings identify important gaps in the nursing workforce and priority areas for investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership to strengthen nursing around the world and improve health for all.

Quotes:

Nurses are the backbone of any health system. Today, many nurses find themselves on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19This report is a stark reminder of the unique role they play, and a wakeup call to ensure they get the support they need to keep the world healthy.” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General

 Politicians understand the cost of educating and maintaining a professional nursing workforce, but only now are many of them recognising their true value. Every penny invested in nursing raises the wellbeing of people and families in tangible ways that are clear for everyone to see. This report highlights the nursing contribution and confirms that investment in the nursing profession is a benefit to society, not a cost.” Annette Kennedy, ICN President

 “This report places much-needed data and evidence behind calls to strengthen nursing leadership, advance nursing practice, and educate the nursing workforce for the future, said. The policy options reflect actions we believe all countries can take over the next ten years to ensure there are enough nurses in all countries, and that nurses use of the full extent of their education, training, and professional scope to enhance primary health care delivery and respond to health emergencies such as COVID-19.  This must start with broad and intersectoral dialogue which positions the nursing evidence in the context of a country’s health system, health workforce, and health priorities.” Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair of Nursing Now




WHO and Global Citizen announce: 'One World: Together at home' Global Special to support healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
‘One World: Together At Home’ Global Special to Air on Saturday, April 18 in Celebration and Support of Healthcare Workes, Broadcast to Feature Real Experiences from Doctors, Nurses and Families Around the World. Historic Broadcast to be Hosted by Jimmy Fallon of ‘The Tonight Show,’ Jimmy Kimmel of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and Stephen Colbert of ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ Friends from Sesame Street Also on Hand to Help Unify and Inspire People Around the World to Take Meaningful Actions that Increase Support for the Global COVID-19 Response Curated in Collaboration with Lady Gaga, Broadcast to Include Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder



Medical Product Alert N°2/2020 - Updated version of 01 April

Test de dépistage rapide du VIH falsifié circulant dans les régions OMS des Amériques et de l'Afrique 

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 2020

Product Name

Uni-Gold™ HIV

Uni-Gold™ HIV
Product code12065021206502

Lot Number

HIV7120026

HIV6120030

Expiry Date

5 DEC 2020

29 JUL 20

Stated manufacturer

Trinity Biotech

Trinity Biotech 

The 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 and HIV6120030 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 of the above-referenced products are available on page 2 and advice to the public is available on page 3.

Figure 1 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, lot number HIV7120026, displaying falsified expiry date

Falsified UniGold HIV Images 1 and 2 Alert

Figure 2 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, displaying labelling inconsistencies

Falsified UniGold HIV Image 3 Alert

Figure 3 – Falsified Uni-Gold™ HIV, lot number HIV6120030, displaying falsified expiry date

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 or HIV6120030.
  • If you are in possession of these falsified test kits with lot number HIV7120026 or HIV6120030.

Please do not use.

  1. Please immediately contact the organization that supplied you with the product (either your HIV testing programme, nongovernmental organization or local distributor).
  2. Please contact Trinity Biotech plc
    Phone : +353 1 276 9800
    E-mail : hiv@trinitybiotech.com
  3. Please contact your national health authorities

All 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 falsified test kits with lot numbers HIV7120026 or HIV6120030 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 rapidalert@who.int

WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for Substandard and Falsified Medical Products

For further information, please visit our website: https://www.who.int/medicines/regulation/ssffc/en/  




#BeActive for the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

FIFA has joined forces with the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in supporting the #BeActive campaign launched on the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace to encourage people to be #HealthyAtHome as the world comes together in the fight against COVID-19, today and every day.

WHO recommends all healthy adults do at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity and children at least 60 minutes per day. As part of this, #BeActive and remain #HealthyAtHome include the following suggestions along with any other form of recreation to stay healthy at home:

  1. Taking some online exercise classes,
  2. Dancing,
  3. Playing active video games,
  4. Jumping rope, and
  5. Practising muscle strength and balance training.

“We are delighted that football is strongly supporting the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by asking everyone to #BeActive and to remain healthy at home during this difficult time,” said António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations. “FIFA has asked the football community, from member associations and clubs, to players and fans, to show their support, to put their rivalries aside and to show a new solidarity so we can overcome the coronavirus. This is an important lesson not only for today, but for every day.”

“More than ever, especially now, one thing must be clear to everyone, health comes first,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “FIFA is delighted to support both the United Nations and the World Health Organization in amplifying the #BeActive campaign today, and we are encouraged that the football community is also playing an active role in ensuring the message understood globally. For the first time ever, we are all on the same team and together, with team spirit and positive energy, we will win.” 

“WHO is proud to collaborate as part of the UN family with FIFA and football lovers worldwide to promote the importance of being active for both physical and mental health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “The #BeActive campaign supports WHO’s drive to help people be healthy at home.”

The campaign kicks off with Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC asking football fans to set aside their rivalries and to come together to #BeActive in order to defeat the coronavirus. Other clubs, including Club América, CD Guadalajara, Beijing Guoan FC, Shanghai Shenhua FC, Mohun Bagan AC, East Bengal FC, Melbourne City FC, Sydney FC, Auckland City FC, Team Wellington FC, CA River Plate, Olympique de Marseille, TP Mazembe, CR Flamengo and SE Palmeiras will also join the initiative in the coming days.

As part of the campaign, world-famous players share the following message: “At this time, even rivals need to stick together. We have to keep our distance, but we do not lose our focus. We can show solidarity by being active, and active means following the guidelines from the WHO.”

The video campaign will be published on various FIFA digital channels, with regular subsequent updates from clubs and players across the world during subsequent days. #BeActive is also being supported with graphics toolkits for the 211 FIFA member associations and various media agencies to facilitate additional localisation and to further amplify the message.

WHO, the UN’s specialized health agency, and FIFA, football’s world governing body, collaborate closely to promote healthy lifestyles through football globally and launched the “ Pass the message to kick out coronavirus” campaign last month to share advice effective measures to protect people from COVID-19.

The video campaign can also be downloaded here for editorial purposes.

 

 




WHO urges countries to ensure the continuity of malaria services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the resilience of robust health systems around the world. Recognizing the heavy toll that malaria exacts on vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the region’s fragile health infrastructure, WHO underlines the critical importance of sustaining efforts to prevent, detect and treat malaria.

“As COVID-19 continues its rapid spread, WHO would like to send a clear message to malaria-affected countries in Africa,” said Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “Do not scale back your planned malaria prevention, diagnostic and treatment activities. If someone living in a place with malaria develops a fever, he or she should seek diagnosis and care as soon as possible.”

Ensuring access to core malaria prevention measures is an important strategy for reducing the strain on health systems; these include vector control measures, such as insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying, as well as chemoprevention for pregnant women and young children (intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy, intermittent preventive treatment in infants and seasonal malaria chemoprevention). Additional special measures could ease the burden on health systems in the context of COVID-19, such as presumptive malaria treatment and mass drug administration.

Any interventions must consider the importance of both lowering malaria-related mortality and ensuring the safety of communities and health workers. WHO will provide guidance for countries to safely maintain essential health services in the context of the COVID-19 response.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Essential information on the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in a dedicated WHO site.

About malaria

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2018, there were an estimated 228 million cases of malaria worldwide and 405 000 malaria-related deaths. For more on malaria, visit: www.who.int/malaria




National Ethics Committees and COVID-19
On Monday April 6, WHO will host a virtual meeting to facilitate communication, collaboration and exchange between National Ethics Committees from around the world.



WHO and UNICEF to partner on pandemic response through COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

WHO and UNICEF today announced an agreement to work together on COVID-19 response, through the historic COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund powered by the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation.  

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been set up to facilitate an unprecedented global response by supporting the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. As part of the agreement, an initial portion of the money from the Fund – which currently stands at more than $127 million – will flow to UNICEF for its work with vulnerable children and communities all over the world.

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic requiring extraordinary global solidarity to urgently respond,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “I’m pleased that UNICEF joined the Solidarity Response Fund. With their extensive experience both in fundraising and in implementing programmes, this partnership will help us to work together closely to save lives.”

The money collected through the fund will be used, among others, to train and equip communities and health-care workers to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19. It will help countries expand their health-care capacity and mitigate its social impact, especially on women, children and vulnerable social groups. And it will accelerate research and development of treatments and preventive vaccines.

As a key partner in this joined-up effort, UNICEF will lead emergency efforts to ensure families and communities in the most vulnerable countries are fully engaged in the response and have access to water, sanitation and hygiene and other infection prevention and control measures. UNICEF will also ensure children, caretakers, and frontline responders such as social workers, teachers and healthcare workers are supported through evidence-based guidance through its vast community outreach and country programs.

“This is an extraordinary emergency that demands an extraordinary response, and we need all-hands on deck—individuals, corporations, foundations, governments and other organizations around the world,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “UNICEF is pleased to join the Solidarity Response Fund. It will bolster our efforts to strengthen health and sanitation systems and help protect the most vulnerable families from knock-on impacts of COVID-19 on already overstretched health systems.”

Funds raised will be spent in alignment with the global response plan, and where needs are greatest. At the direction of WHO leadership, it is expected that resources will go directly toward:

  • WHO, for its work to track the spread of the virus, assess gaps and needs, equip frontline health workers with personal protective equipment, ensure lab and testing tools are available in countries around the world, and keep communities and frontline responders informed with the latest technical guidance.
  • UNICEF, to ensure children and families around the world are equipped with all the evidence-based information and latest WHO guidance as well as locally relevant information to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19; to support vulnerable countries by providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and basic infection prevention and control measures; and to provide access to care for vulnerable families and children.
  • CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a key partner leading the financing for research and development for novel vaccines to combat COVID-19, working closely with WHO.

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund was set up at WHO’s request by the UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and launched three weeks ago. It is the only way for individuals and organizations to contribute directly to WHO’s global efforts to tackle the pandemic. To date the fund has $127 million raised or committed from more than 219,000 individuals from all over the world plus more than 90 global companies and organizations. The partnership is also a tremendous demonstration of solidarity across UN organizations in coordinating, partnering and supporting each other in dealing with the immediate and longer-term impact of the pandemic. 

“There has never been a more urgent need for global cooperation,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the UN Foundation. “The COVID-19 pandemic shows us that we all can play a part to stop the spread. The incredible generosity shown to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund from around the world will help WHO, UNICEF, CEPI and partners accelerate their lifesaving work, especially to support the most vulnerable communities and speed the development of a vaccine.”

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Notes to editors

About UNICEF

UNICEF 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.

About WHO

WHO is the United Nations’ specialized agency for health. It is an inter-governmental organization and works in collaboration with its Member States usually through the Ministries of Health. The World Health Organization is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. Learn more at www.who.int.

About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation brings together ideas, people, and resources to help the United Nations drive global progress and tackle urgent problems. Our hallmark is to collaborate for lasting change and innovate to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org.




Digital technology for COVID-19 response
WHO has received overwhelming pro-bono support from technology companies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has triggered an unprecedented demand for digital health technology solutions and has revealed successful solutions such as for population screening, tracking the infection, prioritizing the use and allocation of resources, and designing targeted responses.



Chagas disease: providing free paediatric medicine can enhance diagnosis and treatment
Documentation leading to the donation of an essential antiparasitic medicine for the treatment of Chagas disease to the World Health Organization (WHO) is in the final stage of preparation. A three-year agreement, between the Mundo Sano Foundation (Brazil) and WHO, is expected to make available 108 000 tablets of the paediatric formulation of benznidazole – a first-line medicine against Chagas disease. Treatment with benznidazole in the early stages of infection can cure Chagas disease.