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DR Congo approve the use of Ebola vaccine by WHO.

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The World Health Organization has been given the go-ahead by officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo to import and use an experimental Ebola vaccine in the country, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

“We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already,” Tedros told reporters. “All is ready now to really use it.”



Vaccinations could begin by next Monday, he said.

The vaccine, developed by Merck in 2016, has proven safe and effective in human trials, but it is still experimental as it does not yet have a licence. It must be kept at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius (-76°F to -112°F), creating huge logistical challenges.

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The shot, which was tested in Guinea in 2015 at the end of a vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa, is designed for use in a so-called “ring vaccination” approach.

This would mean that when a new Ebola case is diagnosed, all people who might have been in recent contact with them are traced and vaccinated to try and prevent the disease’s spread.

The WHO said earlier on Monday that the Democratic Republic of Congo had reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between April 4 and May 13, including 19 deaths.

It said 393 people who identified as contacts of Ebola patients were being followed up.

Tedros travelled to Congo over the weekend and flew to the remote area, still only accessible by motorbike or helicopter, where the deadly haemorrhagic disease has broken out.

“Being there is very, very important. If a general cannot be with its troops in the front line it’s not a general,” he said.

“And the second thing is, associated with Ebola there is stigma. We have to go and show that that should really stop. And if there is risk, my life is not better than anyone.”

He praised the Congolese government, including President Joseph Kabila whom he met during his trip.

Information about the outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko and Wangata in Equateur province was still limited, the WHO said, but at present the outbreak does not meet the criteria for declaring a “public health event of international concern”, which would trigger the formation of an

The vaccine, developed by Merck in 2016, has proven safe and effective in human trials, but it is still experimental as it does not yet have a licence. It must be kept at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius (-76°F to -112°F), creating huge logistical challenges.

The shot, which was tested in Guinea in 2015 at the end of a vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa, is designed for use in a so-called “ring vaccination” approach.

This would mean that when a new Ebola case is diagnosed, all people who might have been in recent contact with them are traced and vaccinated to try and prevent the disease’s spread.

The WHO said earlier on Monday that the Democratic Republic of Congo had reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between April 4 and May 13, including 19 deaths.

It said 393 people who identified as contacts of Ebola patients were being followed up.

Tedros travelled to Congo over the weekend and flew to the remote area, still only accessible by motorbike or helicopter, where the deadly haemorrhagic disease has broken out.

“Being there is very, very important. If a general cannot be with its troops in the front line it’s not a general,” he said.

“And the second thing is, associated with Ebola there is stigma. We have to go and show that that should really stop. And if there is risk, my life is not better than anyone.”

He praised the Congolese government, including President Joseph Kabila whom he met during his trip.

Information about the outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko and Wangata in Equateur province was still limited, the WHO said, but at present the outbreak does not meet the criteria for declaring a “public health event of international concern”, which would trigger the formation of an emergency WHO committee.

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REUTERS

 

 

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President Museveni Orders Refund of Mobile Money ‘Error’ Tax in Uganda

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Yoweri Museveni
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President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the refunding of 1% percent mobile money tax paid by Ugandans.

In a statement issued on a social media platform , Museveni insists that the 1 per cent tax which he ordered to be reduced to 0.5 percent last week was passed in error and he signed the bill knowing it had an error.

The mobile money tax and social media tax which triggered massive outcry were effected at the start of 2018/19 financial year.

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“I signed the law with the error because we could not delay the other measures. However, parliament, when it reconvenes, will be requested to correct it. The ones whose deductions had been made on the basis of 1% should have their money reimbursed,” said Museveni.

Apart from salary earners and those who use banks, Museveni said the earnings of many other Ugandans are not known. He revealed that each day, $52 million moves around in the form of mobile money that translates into $19 billion a year.

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Egypt: 37 persons bag jail terms over illicit human organ trade

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For illegally trafficking in human organs, an Egyptian court has sentenced 37 people to prison terms ranging from three to 15 years.

The rulings which took place on Thursday in Cairo Criminal Court, reported by the state-run Al Ahram newspaper, sentenced six people to 15 years, 11 to seven years and 20 to three years while three people were acquitted.

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The sentences can be appealed.

An investigation found that doctors, medical workers and intermediaries were involved in multiple incidents of illicit organ transplants and harvesting of human organs.

The probe found that the defendants exploited poor Egyptians who sold their organs.

Egypt prohibits the sale of human organs under a 2010 law but some Egyptians, driven by poverty, offer to sell theirs to make ends meet.

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-The Washington Post

 

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