Health News Digest: WHO urges countries to increase Monkeypox surveillance; Senegal’s health minister sacked after babies die in hospital fire and more

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Here is a summary of health news briefs.

Cancer treatments could benefit from lessons from pandemic setbacks – AstraZeneca chief executive

Although cancer screening and diagnosis have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting advances in medical technology and greater diversity in clinical trials could help treatments in the future, an executive at AstraZeneca. Cancer screening and diagnosis rates have dropped 15% to 25% over the past two years as people skip routine checkups, Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president of oncology at AstraZeneca, said at the Reuters Global Markets Forum in Davos.

WHO urges countries to increase Monkeypox surveillance

Around 200 confirmed cases and more than 100 suspected cases of Monkeypox have been detected so far outside countries where it usually spreads, a World Health Organization official said on Thursday, urging countries to step up surveillance of infectious disease. Monkeypox, a mild viral infection, is endemic in the African countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.

Senegal: Minister of Health sacked after the death of babies in the fire of a hospital

Senegalese President Macky Sall sacked his Minister of Health, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, on Thursday, according to a government decree, after the death of 11 babies in a fire in the neonatal ward of a hospital. Sarr will be replaced by Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, director general of the ministry, according to the decree.

Breakthrough infections may be less contagious; vaccine protection declines more rapidly in cancer patients

Here is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that deserves further study to corroborate the findings and that has not yet been certified by peer review. Breakthrough infections may be less contagious

Walmart and CVS will stop filling prescriptions for controlled substances by Cerebral, Done

Walmart Inc and CVS Health Corp said Wednesday they would stop filling prescriptions for controlled substances issued by telehealth startups Cerebral Inc and Done Health. Cerebral and Done are known to treat ADHD patients, prescribing stimulants such as Adderall.

America’s Next Abortion Battle Is Over Pills, and It Has Already Begun

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to issue its ruling that is expected to drastically curtail abortion rights, but one of the next legal battles has already begun in a Mississippi court. It’s where the maker of a pill used to perform medical abortions, Las Vegas-based GenBioPro Inc, filed a federal lawsuit challenging conservative state restrictions on the pill, used in more than half of all abortions in the United States.

Explanation – What is on (and off) the agenda of the WHO Assembly?

Hundreds of health ministers and diplomats from around the world are gathering in Geneva this week for the World Health Organization’s first in-person assembly in three years as the UN agency seeks to define its future role in global health policy. The World Health Assembly (WHA) agenda is the busiest in WHO’s 75-year history and is seen as a historic opportunity to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has 15 million deaths, and to prepare for the next global epidemic.

WHO condemns Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in rare vote, rejects Moscow’s counter-proposal

The World Health Organization assembly on Thursday passed a motion condemning the regional health emergency sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rejected a rival Moscow resolution that made no mention of its own role in the crisis. The initial proposal, put forward by the United States and about 50 others, condemned Russia’s actions but stopped short of immediately suspending its voting rights at the United Nations health agency, as some had asked before.

US confirms 9 monkeypox cases in 7 states

The United States said Thursday it had identified nine cases of monkeypox in seven states, some in people who had no recent international travel history. The nine cases were confirmed in Massachusetts, Florida, Utah, Washington, California, Virginia and New York on Wednesday, the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters.

Abbott develops test for monkeypox

Abbott Laboratories said on Thursday it was actively developing a test for monkeypox as the disease spreads in various countries. The company will provide the test kits to partners in its Pandemic Defense Coalition, a network of scientific and public health partnerships aimed at identifying future pandemic threats, an Abbott spokesman told Reuters.

(With agency contributions.)

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