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July 2021 News letter – What are Enzymes? | Written By Dr. Jerry J. Masarira, Naturopath D. CBIS.

      

Enzymes are proteins produced by all living organisms and they consist of amino acids. They are catalysts that make essential biochemical reactions happen. The enzymes are not used up or chemically altered in the process. Their job is to make chemical reactions take place quickly as well as efficiently.

       Without enzymes some reactions would happen very slowly or not at all.  

Enzymes are very specific in their functions. The substance they act upon as they function is called, Substrate. Enzymes act like lock and key or like hand and glove. That means you may have several enzymes, but only one will work on a particular food (lock). One enzyme will work on the same food several times without getting destroyed.

You can not open a lock if you do not have a particular key for it. That means you cannot digest a particular food without the right enzyme for that type of food no matter how many other enzymes you have in your body. Does that make sense?

Food and enzymes are only in the stomach for about one and half hours, then they pass into the intestines where most of absorption takes place. Any insufficiently digested particle entering the small intestines may invoke an allergic reaction or cause inflammation.  

     There are three main groups of enzymes:-

a.   The digestive enzymes.

b.   Food enzymes in raw foods.

c.   Metabolic enzymes.

Enzymes are a part of the metabolic process in the body. When you eat raw food, your body uses the enzymes if the raw food itself to digest instead of producing the needed enzymes for digestion internally.

Cooked food, because of high heat, it destroys enzymes. Microwaving food creates a lot of heat which eventually destroys enzymes.

Your body produces digestive enzymes throughout your lifetime DEPENDING on the raw foods and good foods you eat that make your body store for future use. Digestive enzymes are from the pancreas and from the digestive tract. When you eat a lot of cooked food only and junk food as take-aways, and have no enzymes brought in from outside, they give the pancreas a lot of stress to “find” enzymes for digesting certain foods.

Lack of enzymes results in degenerating illnesses such as pancreatic cancers etc. The digestive enzymes in saliva continue their activity in the alkaline upper stomach during the first one hour after eating.

      Enzymes from animal products are destroyed by the low pH of the stomach acid. Animal enzymes pancreatin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin are only active in the alkaline environment of the duodenum.

     Enzymes derived from microbial and plant sources work at pH found in the upper stomach where food may sit for over one hour. They will continue to be active in the acidic lower stomach as well as later when food passes into the alkaline small intestine. Microbial and plant enzymes have a much wider variety of specific enzyme types as well as enabling them to work on many kinds of foods.

    Because microbial and plant derived enzymes have these advantages over animal enzymes. That is why when one has cancer, animal products do not support life to heal cancer because they have no enzymes but worsen the problem. Therefore it is discouraged to eat them. That is why we have no hospitals for wild animals who eat mostly grass and leaves but domesticated animals do, our dogs and cats are taken to vet offices.

      You might have a question on why lions, leopards, hyenas, cheaters etc, eating meat every day do not have health problems the same as grass eating animals. It is because they eat raw meat, not cooked. Raw meat has the enzymes from the grass eaten the same as human beings keep enzymes for digestion when we eat raw foods like salads etc. If you want to eat meat with enzymes, eat it raw and not cooked.  

       We have a website for you to communicate for consultations and also training you as a medical missionary. There are other services you may find useful. On the website We recorded over 100 audio weekly lessons and old monthly news-letters you might have missed from the past. Feel free to read and listen. Pass the website link to as many people as you want across the globe.

www.enprohealthinstitute.com

If you have any questions, please contact me at:

enproinstitutenews@aol.com

Dr. Jerry J. Masarira, Naturopath D. CBIS.

EnproConsultant and Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

Alt. drmasarirajj@aol.com

drmasarirajj@gmail.com

Dr. Jerry J. Masarira, Naturopath D. CBIS.

Enpro Consultant and Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

Alt. drmasarirajj@aol.com

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Women Left Behind: Gender Gap Emerges in Africa's Vaccines – Voice of America

SARE GIBEL, GAMBIA — 
The health outreach workers who drove past Lama Mballow’s village with a megaphone handed out T-shirts emblazoned with the words: “I GOT MY COVID-19 VACCINE!”

Lama Mballow carries a gallon of water collected from a local well at the Sare Gibel village in Bansang, Gambia, Sept. 29, 2021.

By then, the women in Sare Gibel already had heard the rumors on social media: The vaccines could make your blood stop or cause you to miscarry. Women who took it wouldn’t get pregnant again.
Lama Mballow and her sister-in-law, Fatoumata Mballow, never made the 3.4-mile trip (5.5 kilometers) to town for their vaccines, but the family kept the free shirt. Its lettering is now well-worn from washing, but the women’s resolve has not softened. They share much — meal preparation duties, child care, trips to the well with plastic jugs, and their outlook on the vaccine.
“I definitely need a lot of children,” said Lama Mballow, 24, who has a 4-year-old son, another child on the way and no plans to get vaccinated after giving birth. And Fatoumata Mballow, 29, struggling to get pregnant for a third time in a village where some women have as many as 10 children, quietly insists: “I don’t want to make it worse and destroy my womb.”
As health officials in Gambia and across Africa urge women to be vaccinated, they’ve confronted unwillingness among those of childbearing age. Many women worry that current or future pregnancies will be threatened, and in Africa, the success of a woman’s marriage often depends on the number of children she bears. Other women say they’re simply more afraid of the vaccine than the virus: As breadwinners, they can’t miss a day of work if side effects such as fatigue and fever briefly sideline them.
Their fears are hardly exceptional, with rumors proliferating across Africa, where fewer than 4% of the population is immunized. Although data on gender breakdown of vaccine distribution are lacking globally, experts see a growing number of women in Africa’s poorest countries consistently missing out on vaccines. Officials who already bemoan the inequity of vaccine distribution between rich and poor nations now fear that the stark gender disparity means African women are the least vaccinated population in the world.
This story is part of a yearlong series on how the pandemic is impacting women in Africa, most acutely in the least developed countries. AP’s series is funded by the European Journalism Centre’s European Development Journalism Grants program, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. AP is responsible for all content.
“We do see, unfortunately, that even as COVID vaccines arrive in Africa after a long delay, women are being left behind,” said Dr. Abdahalah Ziraba, an epidemiologist at the African Population and Health Research Center. “This could mean they will suffer a heavier toll during the pandemic.”
The spread of vaccine misinformation is in large part to blame for the gender gap, officials say. Delays in getting vaccines to impoverished countries allowed misinformation to flourish, even in outlying villages where few people own smart phones. And with female literacy a challenge across Africa, women have long relied on word of mouth for information.

Oumie Nyassi shows a video circulating on the internet and that has been confirmed as fake news of a woman claiming she was magnetized after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, in a doctors office at Serrekunda, Gambia hospital, Sept. 23, 2021.

Despite the rampant concerns about pregnancy and fertility, there is no evidence that vaccines affect a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked tens of thousands of immunized women and found no difference in their pregnancy outcomes. The CDC, World Health Organization, and other agencies recommend pregnant women get vaccinated because they’re at higher risk of severe disease and death.
In Gambia, like many African countries, AstraZeneca was the only vaccine available initially. Widespread publicity of the links between that shot and rare blood clots in women during a fumbled rollout in Europe set back vaccination efforts. Many Gambians believed the shot would stop their blood from flowing altogether, thanks to poor translation of news into local languages.
Officials also confronted a deep mistrust of government and a belief that Africans were getting shots no one else wanted. Rumors swirled that the vaccine was designed to control the continent’s birth rate.
Health officials have since made strides getting Gambian women vaccinated; they now make up about 53 percent of those who’ve had the jabs, up several percentage points from just a few months ago. But there’s been a lag among those of child-bearing age, despite how frequently they’re in contact with maternity clinic workers.
Across Africa, officials report similar trends despite lacking wider data. In South Sudan, Gabon and Somalia, fewer than 30% of those who received at least one dose in the early stages of COVID-19 immunization campaigns were women.
In those countries — as elsewhere in the world, especially impoverished nations in parts of the Middle East and Asia — women face other obstacles accessing vaccines. Some need their husbands’ permission, or they lack technology to make appointments, or vaccine prioritization lists simply didn’t include them.
Dr. Roopa Dhatt, assistant professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, said it’s not surprising African women have been left behind, but addressing the problem is urgent. “If they do not get vaccinated at the same rate as men, they will become this pocket for COVID-19, and it will make it more difficult for all of us to get out of the pandemic,” she said.
In Gambia, many women begin their day at dawn by starting a fire to cook breakfast, so Lucy Jarju rises and makes her way to the river after morning chores. She and other women spend hours paddling small boats on the open water in search of dinner. The oysters, crab or small fish that are left uneaten will be sold, making up the bulk of their household income.

Fatou Jatta, right, holds her paddle as she works with her colleagues to catch fish and crabs from the mangrove in the estuary waters of the Gambia river in Serrekunda, Gambia, Sept. 25, 2021.

Jarju, 53, isn’t willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if it means missing even a day’s work. Her husband died a decade ago, leaving her alone to provide for her seven children and three grandchildren.
“Every day I am running up and down to make ends meet. If I go and take the vaccine, it will be a problem for me,” said Jarju, who often doesn’t make it home until dark, washing dishes before finally heading to bed, ready to repeat her routine the next day. “If my arm gets heavy and I can’t go to the water, who will feed my children?”
Jarju said she’s gotten other vaccines, but has yet to make the 25-minute trek on foot to the nearest clinic for her COVID-19 shot.
“Maybe later,” she demurred, heading off to prepare dinner with her share of the day’s catch.
Only about half of the world’s 200 countries and regions have reported COVID-19 vaccine data by gender, according to a global tracker at University College London. But since similar scenes play out across this country of 2.2 million people and its neighboring nations, experts fear the worst for women in these impoverished countries.
“In most countries in the world, we just don’t have the data to tell us if there is a COVID-19 gender divide,” said Sarah Hawkes, director of the Centre for Gender and Global Health at UCL. “But the few numbers that we do have suggest that it’s a problem.”
Gambia’s fate has been intertwined with that of its much larger West African neighbor Senegal, which completely envelops the tiny enclave of a nation except for the coast. Most foreigners arrive by land at checkpoints where no proof of negative COVID-19 results are needed, which allowed the virus to intensify as Senegal faced a crushing third wave.
And the pandemic has devastated the Gambian economy, which is sustained by tourists from Europe and money sent home from Gambians abroad. Gambians now depend more than ever on fishing and farming. Increasing numbers are taking to rickety boats to flee Gambia — which emerged from more than two decades of dictatorship in 2017 — risking death for a chance to reach European countries.
Hawkes said some hope exists that any initial imbalances in COVID-19 immunization rates between men and women continue to even out in Gambia and other countries once they have steady vaccine supplies. In most rich countries where vaccines have been freely available — including Britain, Canada, Germany and the U.S. — there is a nearly even split between the numbers of men and women getting inoculated.
But it’s particularly difficult to push vaccines in areas that haven’t had explosive outbreaks of the virus, such as parts of Gambia and South Sudan.
“Women here are worried their children will get pneumonia or malaria,” said nurse Anger Ater, who works on immunization campaigns in South Sudan. “They are not worried about COVID-19.”
Not just a rural problem
Reluctance to the coronavirus vaccine isn’t limited to remote villages. At the Bundung hospital in Serrekunda, on the outskirts of Gambia’s capital, the situation confounds chief executive officer Kebba Manneh, who has worked there for more than 20 years.
On a recent morning in the hospital’s maternity clinic, Manneh asked a group of dozens of expectant mothers how many had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Just one raised her hand.
Footsteps away, other women brought in their babies and toddlers for routine immunizations — measles, diphtheria and tetanus.
“You take your child to get vaccinations. What is so special about this one?” Manneh asked. A pregnant woman pulled out her phone to show him a video claiming a person’s body became magnetic after the COVID-19 shot, with a spoon stuck to the arm.
Initially, confusion stemmed from advice against vaccination for many women, said Marielle Bouyou Akotet, who leads the COVID-19 immunization plan in the central African nation of Gabon.
“As we did not know the effect of the vaccine on pregnant women, breastfeeding women and women who want to have a baby in the next six months, we recommended not to vaccinate this category,” said Bouyou Akotet, a professor at the University of Health Sciences in Libreville.
That recommendation was updated after several months, but many women in Gabon and elsewhere have still decided to skip vaccination altogether.
“‘If I take this vaccine, can I still conceive?'” patients ask Mariama Sonko, an infection control specialist at the Bundung hospital. “We tell them the research says it has nothing to do with that.”
But many women listen to stories instead of research. They hear about a woman who miscarried after her vaccination, at 11 weeks, and the fear spreads, even though pregnancy losses are common in the first trimester.
“What makes me afraid is what I heard on social media,” said Binta Balde, 29, who has been married for two years and has struggled to conceive. “That if you take the shot, you will not get pregnant.”
She’s visited the local health clinic and a traditional spiritual healer, who counseled her to swallow pieces of paper with Quranic verses and to drink tea made from herbs to boost fertility.
“When you get married and go to your husband’s house, you have to have a child,” she said. “If not, he could divorce you or leave you at any time. He may say, ‘She cannot give me a child, so I should look for another.'”
The rumors about COVID-19 and fertility have been especially troublesome in predominantly Muslim countries such as Gambia and Somalia, where polygamy is common.
“For Somali women, it means a lot to them,” said Abdikadir Ore Ahmed, a health specialist with CARE. “For you to stay in a family and a marriage, it’s expected you should be able to give birth to more children. The more children you have, the more acceptance you get.”
In Gambia, husbands must give permission for their wives’ medical procedures. Most women tell health care workers they won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine unless their spouse consents. But few husbands come to prenatal visits — only about half even attend their children’s birth at the Bundung hospital.
The hospital recently held an information session for fathers, where Manneh tried to explain the vaccine’s proven effectiveness.
“All the pregnant women coming here are not getting the vaccine because the husbands haven’t given their authorization,” he told the men. “Two of them have died. We are not forcing anybody, but lots of vaccine will expire soon.”
Fatoumata Nyabally’s job as a security officer puts her at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19, and she hasn’t been vaccinated. She’s seven months pregnant, but her husband did not attend Manneh’s presentation. He’s already refused to consent for his wife’s vaccination.

A health worker administers a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the Bundung Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Serrekunda, outskirts of Banjul, Gambia, Sept. 23, 2021.

So Nyabally declined the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, telling workers: “He’s the head of the family, so I have to obey him in anything we do.”
Of the 100 women approached that day at the hospital, only nine agreed to be vaccinated.

The health outreach workers who drove past Lama Mballow’s village with a megaphone handed out T-shirts emblazoned with the words: “I GOT MY COVID-19 VACCINE!”

Lama Mballow carries a gallon of water collected from a local well at the Sare Gibel village in Bansang, Gambia, Sept. 29, 2021.


Lama Mballow carries a gallon of water collected from a local well at the Sare Gibel village in Bansang, Gambia, Sept. 29, 2021.

By then, the women in Sare Gibel already had heard the rumors on social media: The vaccines could make your blood stop or cause you to miscarry. Women who took it wouldn’t get pregnant again.

Lama Mballow and her sister-in-law, Fatoumata Mballow, never made the 3.4-mile trip (5.5 kilometers) to town for their vaccines, but the family kept the free shirt. Its lettering is now well-worn from washing, but the women’s resolve has not softened. They share much — meal preparation duties, child care, trips to the well with plastic jugs, and their outlook on the vaccine.

“I definitely need a lot of children,” said Lama Mballow, 24, who has a 4-year-old son, another child on the way and no plans to get vaccinated after giving birth. And Fatoumata Mballow, 29, struggling to get pregnant for a third time in a village where some women have as many as 10 children, quietly insists: “I don’t want to make it worse and destroy my womb.”

As health officials in Gambia and across Africa urge women to be vaccinated, they’ve confronted unwillingness among those of childbearing age. Many women worry that current or future pregnancies will be threatened, and in Africa, the success of a woman’s marriage often depends on the number of children she bears. Other women say they’re simply more afraid of the vaccine than the virus: As breadwinners, they can’t miss a day of work if side effects such as fatigue and fever briefly sideline them.

Their fears are hardly exceptional, with rumors proliferating across Africa, where fewer than 4% of the population is immunized. Although data on gender breakdown of vaccine distribution are lacking globally, experts see a growing number of women in Africa’s poorest countries consistently missing out on vaccines. Officials who already bemoan the inequity of vaccine distribution between rich and poor nations now fear that the stark gender disparity means African women are the least vaccinated population in the world.

This story is part of a yearlong series on how the pandemic is impacting women in Africa, most acutely in the least developed countries. AP’s series is funded by the European Journalism Centre’s European Development Journalism Grants program, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. AP is responsible for all content.

“We do see, unfortunately, that even as COVID vaccines arrive in Africa after a long delay, women are being left behind,” said Dr. Abdahalah Ziraba, an epidemiologist at the African Population and Health Research Center. “This could mean they will suffer a heavier toll during the pandemic.”

The spread of vaccine misinformation is in large part to blame for the gender gap, officials say. Delays in getting vaccines to impoverished countries allowed misinformation to flourish, even in outlying villages where few people own smart phones. And with female literacy a challenge across Africa, women have long relied on word of mouth for information.

Oumie Nyassi shows a video circulating on the internet and that has been confirmed as fake news of a woman claiming she was magnetized after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, in a doctors office at Serrekunda, Gambia hospital, Sept. 23, 2021.


Oumie Nyassi shows a video circulating on the internet and that has been confirmed as fake news of a woman claiming she was magnetized after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, in a doctors office at Serrekunda, Gambia hospital, Sept. 23, 2021.

Despite the rampant concerns about pregnancy and fertility, there is no evidence that vaccines affect a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked tens of thousands of immunized women and found no difference in their pregnancy outcomes. The CDC, World Health Organization, and other agencies recommend pregnant women get vaccinated because they’re at higher risk of severe disease and death.

In Gambia, like many African countries, AstraZeneca was the only vaccine available initially. Widespread publicity of the links between that shot and rare blood clots in women during a fumbled rollout in Europe set back vaccination efforts. Many Gambians believed the shot would stop their blood from flowing altogether, thanks to poor translation of news into local languages.

Officials also confronted a deep mistrust of government and a belief that Africans were getting shots no one else wanted. Rumors swirled that the vaccine was designed to control the continent’s birth rate.

Health officials have since made strides getting Gambian women vaccinated; they now make up about 53 percent of those who’ve had the jabs, up several percentage points from just a few months ago. But there’s been a lag among those of child-bearing age, despite how frequently they’re in contact with maternity clinic workers.

Across Africa, officials report similar trends despite lacking wider data. In South Sudan, Gabon and Somalia, fewer than 30% of those who received at least one dose in the early stages of COVID-19 immunization campaigns were women.

In those countries — as elsewhere in the world, especially impoverished nations in parts of the Middle East and Asia — women face other obstacles accessing vaccines. Some need their husbands’ permission, or they lack technology to make appointments, or vaccine prioritization lists simply didn’t include them.

Dr. Roopa Dhatt, assistant professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, said it’s not surprising African women have been left behind, but addressing the problem is urgent. “If they do not get vaccinated at the same rate as men, they will become this pocket for COVID-19, and it will make it more difficult for all of us to get out of the pandemic,” she said.

In Gambia, many women begin their day at dawn by starting a fire to cook breakfast, so Lucy Jarju rises and makes her way to the river after morning chores. She and other women spend hours paddling small boats on the open water in search of dinner. The oysters, crab or small fish that are left uneaten will be sold, making up the bulk of their household income.

Fatou Jatta, right, holds her paddle as she works with her colleagues to catch fish and crabs from the mangrove in the estuary waters of the Gambia river in Serrekunda, Gambia, Sept. 25, 2021.


Fatou Jatta, right, holds her paddle as she works with her colleagues to catch fish and crabs from the mangrove in the estuary waters of the Gambia river in Serrekunda, Gambia, Sept. 25, 2021.

Jarju, 53, isn’t willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if it means missing even a day’s work. Her husband died a decade ago, leaving her alone to provide for her seven children and three grandchildren.

“Every day I am running up and down to make ends meet. If I go and take the vaccine, it will be a problem for me,” said Jarju, who often doesn’t make it home until dark, washing dishes before finally heading to bed, ready to repeat her routine the next day. “If my arm gets heavy and I can’t go to the water, who will feed my children?”

Jarju said she’s gotten other vaccines, but has yet to make the 25-minute trek on foot to the nearest clinic for her COVID-19 shot.

“Maybe later,” she demurred, heading off to prepare dinner with her share of the day’s catch.

Only about half of the world’s 200 countries and regions have reported COVID-19 vaccine data by gender, according to a global tracker at University College London. But since similar scenes play out across this country of 2.2 million people and its neighboring nations, experts fear the worst for women in these impoverished countries.

“In most countries in the world, we just don’t have the data to tell us if there is a COVID-19 gender divide,” said Sarah Hawkes, director of the Centre for Gender and Global Health at UCL. “But the few numbers that we do have suggest that it’s a problem.”

Gambia’s fate has been intertwined with that of its much larger West African neighbor Senegal, which completely envelops the tiny enclave of a nation except for the coast. Most foreigners arrive by land at checkpoints where no proof of negative COVID-19 results are needed, which allowed the virus to intensify as Senegal faced a crushing third wave.

And the pandemic has devastated the Gambian economy, which is sustained by tourists from Europe and money sent home from Gambians abroad. Gambians now depend more than ever on fishing and farming. Increasing numbers are taking to rickety boats to flee Gambia — which emerged from more than two decades of dictatorship in 2017 — risking death for a chance to reach European countries.

Hawkes said some hope exists that any initial imbalances in COVID-19 immunization rates between men and women continue to even out in Gambia and other countries once they have steady vaccine supplies. In most rich countries where vaccines have been freely available — including Britain, Canada, Germany and the U.S. — there is a nearly even split between the numbers of men and women getting inoculated.

But it’s particularly difficult to push vaccines in areas that haven’t had explosive outbreaks of the virus, such as parts of Gambia and South Sudan.

“Women here are worried their children will get pneumonia or malaria,” said nurse Anger Ater, who works on immunization campaigns in South Sudan. “They are not worried about COVID-19.”

Not just a rural problem

Reluctance to the coronavirus vaccine isn’t limited to remote villages. At the Bundung hospital in Serrekunda, on the outskirts of Gambia’s capital, the situation confounds chief executive officer Kebba Manneh, who has worked there for more than 20 years.

On a recent morning in the hospital’s maternity clinic, Manneh asked a group of dozens of expectant mothers how many had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Just one raised her hand.

Footsteps away, other women brought in their babies and toddlers for routine immunizations — measles, diphtheria and tetanus.

“You take your child to get vaccinations. What is so special about this one?” Manneh asked. A pregnant woman pulled out her phone to show him a video claiming a person’s body became magnetic after the COVID-19 shot, with a spoon stuck to the arm.

Initially, confusion stemmed from advice against vaccination for many women, said Marielle Bouyou Akotet, who leads the COVID-19 immunization plan in the central African nation of Gabon.

“As we did not know the effect of the vaccine on pregnant women, breastfeeding women and women who want to have a baby in the next six months, we recommended not to vaccinate this category,” said Bouyou Akotet, a professor at the University of Health Sciences in Libreville.

That recommendation was updated after several months, but many women in Gabon and elsewhere have still decided to skip vaccination altogether.

“‘If I take this vaccine, can I still conceive?'” patients ask Mariama Sonko, an infection control specialist at the Bundung hospital. “We tell them the research says it has nothing to do with that.”

But many women listen to stories instead of research. They hear about a woman who miscarried after her vaccination, at 11 weeks, and the fear spreads, even though pregnancy losses are common in the first trimester.

“What makes me afraid is what I heard on social media,” said Binta Balde, 29, who has been married for two years and has struggled to conceive. “That if you take the shot, you will not get pregnant.”

She’s visited the local health clinic and a traditional spiritual healer, who counseled her to swallow pieces of paper with Quranic verses and to drink tea made from herbs to boost fertility.

“When you get married and go to your husband’s house, you have to have a child,” she said. “If not, he could divorce you or leave you at any time. He may say, ‘She cannot give me a child, so I should look for another.'”

The rumors about COVID-19 and fertility have been especially troublesome in predominantly Muslim countries such as Gambia and Somalia, where polygamy is common.

“For Somali women, it means a lot to them,” said Abdikadir Ore Ahmed, a health specialist with CARE. “For you to stay in a family and a marriage, it’s expected you should be able to give birth to more children. The more children you have, the more acceptance you get.”

In Gambia, husbands must give permission for their wives’ medical procedures. Most women tell health care workers they won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine unless their spouse consents. But few husbands come to prenatal visits — only about half even attend their children’s birth at the Bundung hospital.

The hospital recently held an information session for fathers, where Manneh tried to explain the vaccine’s proven effectiveness.

“All the pregnant women coming here are not getting the vaccine because the husbands haven’t given their authorization,” he told the men. “Two of them have died. We are not forcing anybody, but lots of vaccine will expire soon.”

Fatoumata Nyabally’s job as a security officer puts her at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19, and she hasn’t been vaccinated. She’s seven months pregnant, but her husband did not attend Manneh’s presentation. He’s already refused to consent for his wife’s vaccination.

A health worker administers a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the Bundung Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Serrekunda, outskirts of Banjul, Gambia, Sept. 23, 2021.


A health worker administers a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the Bundung Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Serrekunda, outskirts of Banjul, Gambia, Sept. 23, 2021.

So Nyabally declined the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, telling workers: “He’s the head of the family, so I have to obey him in anything we do.”

Of the 100 women approached that day at the hospital, only nine agreed to be vaccinated.

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health

Explained | Will India benefit from the WHO-recommended malaria vaccine? – The Hindu

The story so far: On October 6, the World Health Organization made a historic announcement, endorsing the first-ever malaria vaccine, RTS,S, among children in sub-Saharan Africa, and in other regions with moderate-to-high Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission. It made its recommendations based on the results from a pilot programme administering the vaccine to children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.Why is this significant?Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by micro-organisms that belong to the genus Plasmodium, and is transmitted by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2019, according to the WHO, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria, and the estimated deaths were 4,09,000. About 67% of the deaths were among children aged under five, the group most vulnerable to malaria. Furthermore, 94% of the cases and deaths due to malaria occurred in the WHO African region, a disproportionately high share of the burden. But the WHO says its regions of Southeast Asia, eastern Mediterranean, western Pacific, and the Americas are also at risk. While research for a vaccine and therapeutics for malaria had been on for nearly half-a-century, success has been elusive until recently. While preventive and treatment interventions have continued (bed nets and indoor residual insecticide spraying) over the years, it was clear that the best tool against the constantly mutating pathogen would not emerge until an effective vaccine was at hand.Editorial | Killing the chills: On the malaria vaccineAs Matthew B. Laurens argues in a paper in Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics: “An effective malaria vaccine would be an important tool to combat the enormous socioeconomic burden caused by this disease. Vaccines promote both individual and public health, and are thus considered among the most highly successful public health tools. After provision of clean water and sanitation, vaccination against infectious diseases has contributed the greatest to public health worldwide, compared with other human interventions.” And it was at a time when it was believed that anti-malarial research was flailing, that RTS,S did emerge. Pilot projects rolled out in sub-Saharan Africa showed that among children aged 5-17 months who received the recommended four doses of RTS,S, the vaccine prevented approximately 4 in 10 (39%) cases of malaria over four years of follow-up; about 3 in 10 (29%) cases of severe malaria, with a significant reduction in overall hospital admissions due to malaria or severe anaemia (a side effect). The need for blood transfusions to correct life-threatening anaemia also came down by 29%.What path did the RTS,S vaccine take?RTS,S/AS01 is a recombinant protein-based vaccine that acts against P. falciparum, believed to be the deadliest malaria parasite globally and the most prevalent in Africa. It reportedly offers no protection against P.vivax malaria, found in many countries outside Africa. The development of the vaccine was led by pharma major GSK over 30 years ago. In 2001, GSK began collaborating with PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). A five-year Phase 3 efficacy and safety trial that concluded in 2014 was implemented through a partnership between GSK and MVI, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a network of African research centres. In July 2015, the European Medicines Agency authorised the use of the vaccine, concluding that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks. Known side-effects include pain and swelling at the injection site and fever, similar to the other children’s vaccines. It is associated with an increased risk of febrile seizures within seven days of administration. In the Phase 3 trial, children who had febrile seizures after vaccination recovered completely, and there were no long-lasting consequences, the WHO reported.Pilots were launched in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya over 2019. Health workers reported that the vaccine was easy to introduce and integrate into their schedule. The data were submitted to the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation and the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee that gave the go-ahead for the first ever anti-malarial vaccine.Also read | Bharat Biotech to make malaria vaccineWill India use it too?Malaria is a major public health problem in India, endemic to many States, and involves multiple Plasmodium species, including P. falciparum, said the authors of a paper in Acta Tropica, an international journal on infectious diseases. India will therefore benefit from the vaccine, and Bharat Biotech has entered into a partnership with GSK for technology transfer and production. This vaccine is likely to be ready for use in India, in a couple of years, as per reports.

The story so far: On October 6, the World Health Organization made a historic announcement, endorsing the first-ever malaria vaccine, RTS,S, among children in sub-Saharan Africa, and in other regions with moderate-to-high Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission. It made its recommendations based on the results from a pilot programme administering the vaccine to children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

Why is this significant?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by micro-organisms that belong to the genus Plasmodium, and is transmitted by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2019, according to the WHO, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria, and the estimated deaths were 4,09,000. About 67% of the deaths were among children aged under five, the group most vulnerable to malaria. Furthermore, 94% of the cases and deaths due to malaria occurred in the WHO African region, a disproportionately high share of the burden. But the WHO says its regions of Southeast Asia, eastern Mediterranean, western Pacific, and the Americas are also at risk. While research for a vaccine and therapeutics for malaria had been on for nearly half-a-century, success has been elusive until recently. While preventive and treatment interventions have continued (bed nets and indoor residual insecticide spraying) over the years, it was clear that the best tool against the constantly mutating pathogen would not emerge until an effective vaccine was at hand.

Editorial | Killing the chills: On the malaria vaccine

As Matthew B. Laurens argues in a paper in Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics: “An effective malaria vaccine would be an important tool to combat the enormous socioeconomic burden caused by this disease. Vaccines promote both individual and public health, and are thus considered among the most highly successful public health tools. After provision of clean water and sanitation, vaccination against infectious diseases has contributed the greatest to public health worldwide, compared with other human interventions.” And it was at a time when it was believed that anti-malarial research was flailing, that RTS,S did emerge. Pilot projects rolled out in sub-Saharan Africa showed that among children aged 5-17 months who received the recommended four doses of RTS,S, the vaccine prevented approximately 4 in 10 (39%) cases of malaria over four years of follow-up; about 3 in 10 (29%) cases of severe malaria, with a significant reduction in overall hospital admissions due to malaria or severe anaemia (a side effect). The need for blood transfusions to correct life-threatening anaemia also came down by 29%.

What path did the RTS,S vaccine take?

RTS,S/AS01 is a recombinant protein-based vaccine that acts against P. falciparum, believed to be the deadliest malaria parasite globally and the most prevalent in Africa. It reportedly offers no protection against P.vivax malaria, found in many countries outside Africa. The development of the vaccine was led by pharma major GSK over 30 years ago. In 2001, GSK began collaborating with PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). A five-year Phase 3 efficacy and safety trial that concluded in 2014 was implemented through a partnership between GSK and MVI, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a network of African research centres. In July 2015, the European Medicines Agency authorised the use of the vaccine, concluding that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks. Known side-effects include pain and swelling at the injection site and fever, similar to the other children’s vaccines. It is associated with an increased risk of febrile seizures within seven days of administration. In the Phase 3 trial, children who had febrile seizures after vaccination recovered completely, and there were no long-lasting consequences, the WHO reported.

Pilots were launched in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya over 2019. Health workers reported that the vaccine was easy to introduce and integrate into their schedule. The data were submitted to the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation and the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee that gave the go-ahead for the first ever anti-malarial vaccine.

Also read | Bharat Biotech to make malaria vaccine

Will India use it too?

Malaria is a major public health problem in India, endemic to many States, and involves multiple Plasmodium species, including P. falciparum, said the authors of a paper in Acta Tropica, an international journal on infectious diseases. India will therefore benefit from the vaccine, and Bharat Biotech has entered into a partnership with GSK for technology transfer and production. This vaccine is likely to be ready for use in India, in a couple of years, as per reports.

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health

Ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock has United Nation Africa job offer withdrawn – Manchester Evening News

Former health secretary Matt Hancock has seen a United Nations job offer withdrawn.

Mr Hancock this week announced he had been appointed a special representative to the UN in an unpaid role.

The former health secretary had been due to take up a post in the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

READ MORE:Sir David Amess stabbing: Everything we know so far

Mr Hancock, who resigned in June after admitting he broke coronavirus restrictions during relations with an aide, said he would be helping African countries to recover from Covid-19.

Pass Blue, an independent organisation covering the UN, reported that the offer will not be taken up by the organisation.

The media group quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric saying: “Mr Hancock’s appointment by the UN Economic Commission for Africa is not being taken forward.

“ECA has advised him of the matter.”

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Mr Hancock said the United Nations had written to him to explain that a technicality in its rules meant it could not offer him a special representative role as planned.

The former health secretary had been due to take up an unpaid post in the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

In a statement, Mr Hancock said: “I was honoured to be approached by the UN and appointed as special representative to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to help drive forward an agenda of strengthening markets and bringing investment to Africa.

“The UN have written to me to explain that a technical UN rule has subsequently come to light which states that sitting members of parliament cannot also be UN special representatives.

“Since I am committed to continuing to serve as MP for West Suffolk, this means I cannot take up the position.

“I look forward to supporting the UN ECA in their mission in whatever way I can in my parliamentary role.”

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