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WHO Ships Vaccination For Yellow Fever in Ethiopia

The introduction of yellow fever vaccination into routine immunization in Ethiopia is planned for 2020.

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Yellow fever
A technician at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, sterilizes one of the labs where the yellow fever vaccine is made. The World Health Organization said Monday it will send more than a million doses of the vaccine to Ethiopia. VOA

The World Health Organization is releasing more than a million doses of yellow fever vaccine from its emergency stockpile after the deadly mosquito-borne disease killed 10 people in southwestern Ethiopia, a WHO report said Monday.

The outbreak was confirmed in Wolaita Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region and has been traced back to a patient who fell ill on Aug. 21. It has caused 35 suspected cases of the disease.

“This outbreak is of concern since the population of Ethiopia is highly susceptible to yellow fever due to absence of recent exposure and lack of large-scale immunization,” the WHO report said.

Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical Africa and South and Central America.
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical Africa and South and Central America. Wikimedia Commons

Symptoms include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue, and although only a small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms, about half of those die within seven to 10 days.

All the confirmed cases came from Offa Woreda district, and there have been no more confirmed cases since an immediate reactive vaccination campaign was conducted there in mid-October, reaching around 31,000 people.

However, the WHO said there was a risk of further spread of the disease, partly because of conflict in the region, and it was releasing 1.45 million doses of vaccine for a mass campaign that needed to take place “without further delay.”

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Ethiopia, the home country of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is within the geographic “yellow fever belt” and had frequent outbreaks until the 1960s, but no more until 143 cases were confirmed in the SNNP region in 2013, the weekly report said.

The introduction of yellow fever vaccination into routine immunization in Ethiopia is planned for 2020. (VOA)

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Here’s Why Complimentary Cancer Therapies Can Cause More Harm

Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer

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Cancer
It is particularly important that patients always check with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for Cancer that has spread to the skin. Pixabay

A medical expert has said that Cancer patients should tell doctors treating them about the herbal products they may be taking since some ingredients could affect their treatment.

Maria Joao Cardoso, the head breast surgeon at the Champalimaud Cancer Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, said that there was no evidence that herbal therapies or creams worked.

If in doubt, it is best not to take anything, she added.

Garlic, ginger and ginkgo pills, for example, can delay the healing of skin wounds when breast cancer spreads, she said.

“Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer,” Cardoso told the BBC.

She said that it is particularly important that patients always check with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for cancer that has spread to the skin. This happens in one in five cases of breast cancer, and less in other cancers.

The danger is that many products can interfere with the hormone therapy or chemotherapy treatments, and certain ones prolong the blood clotting process, which can lead to wounds taking longer time to heal and more scarring.

She said that herbal products like green chiretta, feverfew, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, hawthorn, horse chestnut and turmeric slow down clotting.

Cancer
A medical expert has said that Cancer patients should tell doctors treating them about the herbal products they may be taking since some ingredients could affect their treatment. Pixabay

Cardoso said that it is not surprising that patients and their carers go searching for complementary or alternative treatments that might make a difference.

But she said people should know that “they could end up doing more harm than good”.

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“The highest goal in medicine is important to remember: Do no harm,” she said.

As per the website of Cancer Research UK, some complementary therapies might stop conventional treatments working as well as they should. (IANS)