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Gordon Brown urges rich countries to airlift surplus Covid vaccines to world’s poorest

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown urges rich countries to airlift surplus Covid vaccines to world’s poorest

Gordon Brown has called on the British government and other G20 countries to urgently arrange a military airlift of surplus Covid vaccines to poorer countries before they expire, saying it is their “moral responsibility” to do so.

The former prime minister has organised a letter from more than 160 former world leaders and global figures calling for richer countries to send 240m vaccines stored in the US, Europe and Canada to countries struggling to vaccinate their populations.

The letter is addressed to the Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, who is hosting this weekend’s G20 summit in Rome, and calls for urgent action.

Brown, who is the World Health Organization ambassador for global health financing, said about 100m of the vaccines held in the UK and other western countries would pass their expiry dates by Christmas and risk not being used at all.

“If you don’t get them out quickly, you’re going to lose them altogether,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “And I think what people hate most of all is waste. If you can save lives through getting these vaccines out, it’s a moral responsibility to do so, as well as being in our self-interest to prevent further outbreaks of new variants.”

Brown said 2% of low-income countries had been vaccinated and 5% of Africa, where only 10% of health workers had been vaccinated.

He added: “We’ve got about 240m vaccines that are stored in America, Europe, United Kingdom and Canada that are not being used, that are not needed, because we’ve accounted for vaccines for boosters and vaccines for young people and we’ve got to get them out to the people who need them to save lives.”

More than 5 million people have died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. Brown warned that an additional 5 million people would die from the virus if vaccines were not distributed.

He said it was not the fault of Covax, the global vaccine distribution initiative, but that it was down to G20 leaders, who have control of what happens to unused vaccines that he claimed were usually over-ordered.

He said the UK’s Covax donation of 100m vaccines was being distributed too slowly and that the government lacked urgency.

“There’s an urgency about saving lives and there’s also an urgency about preventing these vaccines passing their use-by date, and I don’t think the British government has yet realised the urgency of the problem and the need in the poorest countries,” he said.

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Health

F.G Approves Establishment Of Teaching Hospital In Taraba

The establishment of a Federal teaching hospital in Taraba State has been approved by the Federal Government.

Approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the teaching hospital is to be sited at the federal university in Wukari Local Government Area of the State.

In a letter dated 26th of September 2022, the President gave the nod to the leadership of the institution to go ahead with the establishment of the health institution.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the Director of Health, Teaching Hospital Division, Dr. Noah Andrew, urged the leadership of the university to make sure that all the needed facilities are in place.

“I am directed to refer to a letter dated 2nd September 2022 referenced SGF 6/T/380 from the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to inform you that His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, has graciously approved the establishment of a federal teaching hospital for the federal University, Wukari, Taraba State”, the letter read in part.

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Health

Kaduna Enrolls 136,507 Into Health Scheme

The Kaduna state government has disclosed that it has enrolled about 136,507 poor and vulnerable population into the Kaduna State health insurance scheme.

Head of Administration and Finance, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA), Mr Suleiman Mustapha, disclosed this in Kaduna, during a one-day Roundtable Dialogue on maternal and child health.

The Maternal and Child Health-Civil Society (MCH-CS) Partnership with support from Save the Children International organised the round table.

Mustapha said 79,329 poor and vulnerable populations were enroled for free basic health under the one per cent consolidated revenue of the state government.

According to him, the state government had so far released N1.1 billion to cover the basic health care services of the poor and vulnerable.

He also said an additional 50,648 poor and vulnerable population were enroled under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, adding that a total of N1.1 billion had also been contributed to cover their healthcare.

KADCHMA Executive Secretary , Mr Abubakar Hassan, said the agency was established in February 2018 and began provision of health services in June 2020.

According to him, the health scheme is part of the state’s human capital development and social protection strategy for all residents.

 

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Health

55,000 Die Of Rabies Annually In Nigeria- USAID

The United States Agency For International Development USAID has disclosed that at least 55, 000 Nigerians die of rabies every year.

It said rabid dogs account for about 94 percent of confirmed human infections.

This was revealed by Mieko Mckay, Deputy Office Director for Health, USAID Nigeria, in Abuja on Monday during the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies in Nigeria.

The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal of Health and Breakthrough ACTION -Nigeria and other partners ahead of this year’s World Rabies Day.

Country Representative, World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo, represented by his deputy, Alexander Chimbaru, said there were recent cases in Gombe and Enugu States.

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