Daily Archives: May 4, 2020

WHO supports scientifically-proven traditional medicine

Brazzaville – The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes innovations around the world including repurposing drugs, traditional medicines and developing new therapies in the search for potential treatments for COVID-19.

WHO recognizes that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine has many benefits and Africa has a long history of traditional medicine and practitioners that play an important role in providing care to populations. Medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua are being considered as possible treatments for COVID-19 and should be tested for efficacy and adverse side effects. Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world. Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical.

African governments through their Ministers of Health adopted a resolution urging Member States to produce evidence on the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicine at the Fiftieth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in 2000. Countries also agreed to undertake relevant research and require national medicines regulatory agencies to approve medicines in line with international standards, which include the product following a strict research protocol and undergoing tests and clinical trials. These studies normally involve hundreds of people under the monitoring of the national regulatory authorities and may take quite a few months in an expedited process.

WHO is working with research institutions to select traditional medicine products which can be investigated for clinical efficacy and safety for COVID-19 treatment. In addition, the Organization will continue to support countries as they explore the role of traditional health practitioners in prevention, control, and early detection of the virus as well as case referral to health facilities.

Over the past two decades, WHO has been working with countries to ensure safe and effective traditional medicine development in Africa by providing financial resources and technical support. WHO has supported clinical trials, leading 14 countries to issue marketing authorization for 89 traditional medicine products which have met international and national requirements for registration. Of these, 43 have been included in national essential medicines lists. These products are now part of the arsenal to treat patients with a wide range of diseases including malaria, opportunistic infections related to HIV, diabetes, sickle cell disease and hypertension. Almost all countries in the WHO African region have national traditional medicine policies, following support from WHO.

As efforts are under way to find treatment for COVID-19, caution must be taken against misinformation, especially on social media, about the effectiveness of certain remedies. Many plants and substances are being proposed without the minimum requirements and evidence of quality, safety and efficacy. The use of products to treat COVID-19, which have not been robustly investigated can put people in danger, giving a false sense of security and distracting them from hand washing and physical distancing which are cardinal in COVID-19 prevention, and may also increase self-medication and the risk to patient safety.

WHO welcomes every opportunity to collaborate with countries and researchers to develop new therapies and encourages such collaboration for the development of effective and safe therapies for Africa and the world.

Source: World Health Organization. Africa

SJA praises efforts of journalists against covid-19

Luanda – The Union of Angolan Journalists (SJA) praised, last Sunday, the effort of media professionals in the fight against the pandemic of covid-19.

In the message in the ambit of the 3rd May celebration, World Press Freedom Day, the SJA reaffirms the need for companies in the sector to guarantee bio-safety conditions for professionals, in order to reduce their exposure to the risk of the new coronavirus contamination.

On the other hand, SJA considers it to be an opportunity to reaffirm the need for the journalistic class to reaffirm the necessity for a self-regulation that is capable of protecting its ethics and professional dignity.

The note highlights the fact that the date is celebrated in an environment of apprehension for many Angolan journalists, frightened by the possibility of losing their jobs due to the difficulties experienced by private companies.

Journalists advocate more openness

Still in the ambit of the World Press Freedom Day, several activities were carried out countrywide to mark the date.

In the north-central Malanje Province, journalists have been advocating greater openness for public media bodies and other sources of information, with a view to greater access to information and the exercise of an increasingly impartial and pluralistic journalism.

This position was defended last Sunday by some journalists interviewed by ANGOP, such as Pedro Tavares (Radio Malanje), Celestino Caculo (Angolan Public Television – TPA) and the first secretary of the MPLA’s Specialized Committee of Journalists in Malanje, Ferreira Júnior.

Zaire provincial government praises journalists

The provincial government of Zaire last Sunday in Mbanza Kongo City, highlighted the role and commitment of media professionals in the region.

In a message of congratulations, the provincial government reiterates its commitment to continuing with actions in favour of strengthening the mass media sector in this part of the national territory, whose mission favours the exercise of citizenship and the strengthening of democracy in Angola.

“The provincial government recognizes the role and commitment of the class to defend and preserve the rule of law, at a time when the Angolan nation is making efforts to diversify the economy and fight corruption”, states the document.

Officially instituted in 1993 by Unesco, 03 May commemoration was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN).

The date was chosen because it was the anniversary  of the Windhoek Declaration, approved during a seminar organized by UNESCO on “Promotion of Independence and Pluralism in the African Press”, held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 29 April to 03 May 1991.

The Declaration considers freedom, independence and pluralism of the media to be essential principles for democracy and human rights.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Minint spokesman clarifies police performance

Luanda – The Ministry of Interior (Minint)’s spokesman, Waldemar José, said last Sunday that the right of movement in Angola is suspended for everyone, regardless of the status of the entity, thus justifying the action of the National Police (PN).

Refuting the reactions that are being divulged due to the retention of Judge Januário Catengo and a member of opposition UNITA’s Parliamentary Group, reproduced by Jornal de Angola, Waldemar José reaffirmed that this right is suspended for everyone.

According to the official, it is suspended for ordinary citizens and for those who enjoy immunities, such as the judicial magistrate who violated the provisions of Presidential Decree 120/20 on the sanitary fence imposed on the province of Luanda, since 26 April.

“If the judge was to circulate in one of Namibe’s municipalities, where he has jurisdiction, he will not be blocked, in fact, he must do so”, he said.

He justified that “the competence and functioning of the sovereign bodies has not been called into question, stressing that the sovereign bodies are functioning and their competence remains the same”.

As for Judge Januário Catengue, he said that his jurisdictional competence was not called into question.

“He is a judge in the Namibe County, so his jurisdiction is specific to Namibe.”

From his point of view, there is no justification for making the Luanda-Namibe route.

“He was caught in Benguela – where he has no jurisdiction,” he argued.

Waldemar José also clarified that immunity has nothing to do with the legitimacy of committing crimes or infractions and violating the rules.

“Any of the sections of the Constitution of the Republic that speak of immunities do not legitimize that the entity that has immunities can do everything,” he said.

He stated that persons with immunities cannot be detained or imprisoned in blatant offense for crimes whose sentence is less than two years (correctional imprisonment) or for those crimes whose sentence is greater than two years.

“Have any of these entities been arrested? No! Neither the judge nor the other entity has been arrested”, he asserted.

They were only held, at that moment, to know where they intended to go and were instructed to return, due to the sanitary fence”, explained Waldemar José.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Covid-19: Angola still with 35 positive cases

Luanda – Angola maintains the 35 positive cases of covid-19, with two deaths, 11 recovered and 22 active and stable, said last Sunday, the secretary of State for Public Health, Franco Mufinda.

According to Franco Mufinda, who spoke at the usual covid-19 update briefing, the national lab has already processed 3, 916 samples, 35 of which were positive, 2,980 negative and 901 samples in processing.

In the institutional quarantine, he pointed out, Angola controls 886 people, and in the discharge chapter there were 29, Cabinda with 19 and Zaire with 10.

In order to contain the spread of the pandemic, Angola observes, since 00:00 on Sunday (April 26), the third period of the State of Emergency, in force until 23:59 on 10 May, with 45 consecutive days of social distancing.

This is the second extension, of 15 days, of the exceptional regime, this time with a slight relaxation of the measures.

The State of Emergency was decreed on March 25 by the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, after a favourable opinion from the National Assembly (parliament) and was in force from March 27 to April 10, having been extended to the period that goes from 11 to 25 of the current month.

In the framework of the extension, among restrictions and openings, the circulation and permanence of people on the public road is also prohibited, the use of masks is now mandatory for everyone who goes out or exposes themselves in public places.

Among the impositions, in these new 15 days of sanitary fencing, there remains the obligation for workers assigned to essential services, from the public and private sectors, to be accompanied by credential and badge.

Source: Angola Press News Agency