WHO praises Japan for support in Eastern Mediterranean

WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Ahmed Mandhari, met with the Ambassador of Japan to Egypt, Oka Hiroshi, to affirm the continued cooperation between WHO and Japan in responding to regional health crises. “We deeply value the generous support provided by our long-standing donor, the Government of Japan, to countries and territories of the Eastern Mediterranean Region,” said Mandhari. “This enduring partnership has yielded significant advances in health care across the Region, bolstering the Region’s resilience to various health challenges.” The eastern Mediterranean is no stranger to crises, with several countries facing natural and human-made emergencies. According to a WHO statement issued Sunday, the Eastern Mediterranean has the highest number of people in need and the highest in terms of displaced people of any WHO Region. The statement notes that the Region is highly vulnerable to the public health impacts of climate change, making the need for continued support even more pressing. WHO responds to multiple large-scale emergencies and disease outbreaks and focuses on enhancing the humanitarian-development nexus. WHO seeks to implement the nexus approach through sustainable interventions such as health systems strengthening and the expansion of universal health coverage and primary health care. To date, the Government of Japan has made voluntary contributions to the Region totalling US$ 150 million from 2016 to 2023, according to the statement. This funding has primarily supported emergency and disease outbreak response efforts.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Pakistan bombings death toll up to 56

The death toll from the two terrorist bombings that targeted a religious procession and a mosque in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces in Pakistan has risen to 56. The first bombing targeted a celebration on the occasion of the Prophet’s date of birth near a mosque in the town of Mastung in Balochistan Province, killing 52 people, according to international news agencies quoting Pakistani officials. The second bombing happened hours after the Mastung bombing in a mosque during Friday prayers in the Hingu area south of Peshawar in the Khyber Region, leaving four dead and five wounded, according to official Pakistani sources. Local media quoted local police officer Nizar Ahmed as saying that between 30 and 40 people were still trapped under the rubble of the mosque in Hangu.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Measles-Rubella vaccine in Jordan is safe and effective at saving children’s lives – WHO and UNICEF

The Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine, which is provided free of charge for children in Jordan, is safe and effective at protecting children from deadly disease and outbreaks, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) UNICEF who support the Ministry of Health’s national Immunisation campaign. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of Measles vaccination coverage in Jordan has declined alarmingly, with approximately 112,000 children under five years of age (more than 6 out of 10 children in this age group) having missed their routine doses of measles-containing vaccine. According to a WHO and UNICEF statement, the high number of unvaccinated individuals has led to an outbreak of measles earlier in April 2023, when 163 measles cases were reported in seven governorates. “Measles is a deadly and highly contagious disease, which is easily prevented through vaccination, but to create herd immunity and shield our communities, it is critical that we achieve a vaccination coverage of 95 per cent or higher of two doses of the vaccine,” said Dr Jamela Raiby, WHO Representative in Jordan. “Vaccines are one of humanity’s greatest and most remarkable success stories – eliminating diseases and saving countless children’s lives. Building back immunity in Jordan through routine immunisation and catch-up campaigns will help protect children and prevent the public health system becoming overwhelmed with outbreaks,” said Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF RRepresentative in Jordan. The MR vaccine used is procured on the global market from the Serum Institute of India (SII). In 2022, SII accounted for approximately 236 million doses of MR vaccines shipped globally, representing around 80% of all MR vaccines used in the world. SII is one of only two companies prequalified by WHO to make and distribute this vaccine, 81 Member States are using SII MR vaccine across the world. The WHO prequalification means that the vaccine meets global standards of quality, safety, and efficacy. WHO follows rigorous standards encompassing potency, thermostability, presentation, labelling and shipping conditions are met and maintained through regular re-evaluation, site inspection, targeted testing and investigation of any product complaints or adverse events following immunisation. WHO recommends using measles rubella vaccine for outbreak response immunisation in measles or measles/rubella outbreaks for the countries that have rubella vaccine in the routine immunisation programme. Since 2021 UNICEF has procured over 436 million doses of measles-rubella vaccine benefitting 57 countries around the world. To respond to this threat, the Ministry of Health, with the support of the WHO and the UNICEF, developed a comprehensive measles outbreak response plan, including a key component of supplemental immunization activities for the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine. Both UN agencies reiterated their commitment to the Ministry of Health to support our shared goals to strengthen the primary healthcare system, provide health workers with the resources and support they need, and deliver lifesaving vaccines to children.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Interior Minister, UAE Chargé d’Affairs discuss boosting cooperation, Damascus

Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammad al-Rahmoun, discussed with the Chargé d’affaires of the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Damascus, Abdul Hakim al-Nuaimi, the joint cooperation.

Al-Rahmoun described the historical relations binding the two countries as deeply rooted, highlighting the importance of strengthening them in various fields.

Syria highly appreciates the role played by the UAE in supporting the government’s efforts in relief operations for those affected by the earthquake, through rescue teams and the relief and humanitarian aid it sent to the affected areas, as well as its assistance in other various fields.

The Ministry of Interior is keen to take care of the interests of the Emirati community in Syria and provide them with all facilities, Minister Al-Rahmoun stressed.

Al-Nuaimi stressed the depth of the distinguished relations between the two brotherly countries and peoples, affirming the importance of developing them in different fields, especially in the humanitarian one

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency