Kenya’s La Miguela All Sets to Storm the 21st Medexpo Africa 2018

Kenya’s La Miguela All Sets to Storm the 21st Medexpo Africa 2018

Healthcare is a word that defines the fitness of all, so are the safety measures taken to prevent disease spread and secure our well being. Manufactures providing us with the gadgets that ensure security have been held in high esteem, one big example is Kenya’s very own La Miguela Holdings. Widely known for their Needle Smelter, the company will showcase this marvel at the 21st Medexpo Africa 2018, to be held from the 04-06 September at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi.

Celebrating its 21st edition Medexpo, has been the market for over two decades, promoting the healthcare industry to the African market. The event features products, machinery, equipments, tools and technology used in the medical sectors, this would include, of tablets, syrups, syringes, scanners, surgery tools, lasers, OT equipments, scrubs, gloves, chemicals, solutions, cosmetic tools, sterilizers, centrifuges, microscopes etc. Exhibitors from over 25 countries participate, counting the continents apart from Africa. Overall entire floor is a fold of vast imaginations, a culmination of the brightest minds and ideas dedicated to healthcare sector.

La Minguela, a known name in the region is famous for its safety products and solution. They step in when you have no way out, especially in life threatening situations. They will bring their needle smelters to the expo; a devise that completes dissolves syringes under extreme heat with no risk of any transfer of disease, infection or any other ailing. The product will be a great addition to the list of displays at the expo. Moreover the fair will allow they the need exposure to other markets, international waters and promising traders.

The show is expected to attract over 5000 visitors, both local and international such as buyers, sellers, distributors, scientist, medical professionals, healthcare centre’s, facilities and institutions, developers, researchers, delegates, associations, suppliers to name a few. Moreover the participants will be quiet intriguing with all their innovation presented to a crowd, waiting for the next development in the healthcare future.

Studies of US Lassa fever patient offer clues about immune response, viral persistence

Studies of US Lassa fever patient offer clues about immune response, viral persistence

When an American nurse working in West Africa became ill with Lassa fever and was evacuated to the U.S. for treatment in 2016, it provided a rare opportunity. With the consent of the patient, researchers were able to closely study, for the first time, how his immune system responded, including the persistence of Lassa virus in his semen after his recovery. An experimental drug was also used as part of his treatment.

A new report, published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID), describes the patient’s immune response, at the cellular level, to Lassa virus infection. A related report describing his treatment—and that of another Lassa fever patient treated in Germany, who also survived—appears in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID). Although findings from individual patients cannot be generalized to a broader population, the reports suggest areas of needed research for a neglected disease.

Discovered in 1969, Lassa fever affects an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 people each year in West Africa, where the infection is endemic and causes approximately 5,000 deaths annually. In mild cases, symptoms can include fever, weakness, and headache. Bleeding, difficulty breathing, vomiting, facial swelling, muscle pain, and shock may develop in severe cases. Last year, the World Health Organization identified Lassa virus as a top-priority emerging pathogen for research and development.

Lassa virus is primarily transmitted to people through exposure to infected rats or their droppings and urine. Contact with an infected person’s body fluids can also spread the virus. Sexual transmission has been reported, but the extent of viral persistence in the semen of male survivors over time is unknown.

After acquiring Lassa fever in Togo, the American nurse was treated in the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta by a clinical team from Emory with Lassa-specific laboratory assistance from the nearby Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He recovered and was discharged 25 days later. Several semen samples taken from the patient had detectable levels of Lassa virus RNA, including a sample 23 days after his discharge. During his recovery, he also developed inflammation of the epididymis, a coiled tube near the testicles that stores and carries sperm. The German patient, treated at Frankfurt University Hospital, had detectable Lassa RNA in his semen 64 days after he was discharged.

“There’s no capacity to monitor persistence of Lassa in the semen in resource-limited areas,” said Emory University’s Colleen S. Kraft, MD, who authored the CID report. “Much like with Ebola, we want to make sure we educate individuals who have recovered from Lassa to use safe sexual practices for a while.”

Over the course of the American nurse’s illness, researchers tracked his immune response, including the activity and function of virus-specific T-cells (immune cells important for fighting viral infections) in his body. The response was surprisingly robust and correlated closely with several symptoms and signs that developed late in his illness, even after Lassa virus could no longer be detected in his blood. This suggests that aspects of his own immune system may have actually caused some harm, said Anita K. McElroy, MD, PhD, author of the JID study, who is affiliated with CDC and Emory.
Future studies could lead to the development of therapies for Lassa fever that dampen certain harmful aspects of the body’s immune response, complementing antiviral drugs that target the virus itself. “First and foremost, we need to do this same type of research in more patients,” Dr. McElroy said. “You’ve got to know what’s wrong in the immune response before you can attempt to fix it.”

The U.S. and German patients’ treatment included oral favipiravir, an antiviral drug licensed to treat influenza in Japan that has also been studied as a possible treatment for Ebola. Both patients appeared to experience few serious side effects from the drug, but clinical trials are needed to determine if the drug is effective against Lassa fever, Dr. Kraft said. The patients were also treated with another antiviral, intravenous ribavirin, which is the current standard of care for Lassa patients. Ribavirin’s availability as an intravenous drug, however, is limited in West Africa, where the disease is most common.

In a related editorial commentary in JID, William A. Fischer II, MD, and David A. Wohl, MD, both of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, noted that Lassa fever remains underdiagnosed and understudied despite being a major cause of disease in West Africa. In commenting on the JID report, they wrote, “After a tragically prolonged pause in Lassa fever research, the work reported by these investigators is an important step in moving the science of this neglected virus into the 21st century.”

IVF pioneer wins 2017 African Child Prize Award for discovery

IVF pioneer wins 2017 African Child Prize Award for discovery

A foremost fertility expert and joint pioneer of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Test Tube Baby Technology or Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) in Nigeria, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru has won the African child prize award for Discovery in Science and Innovation was given to Prof Oladapo Ashiru (OFR).

The African Child Foundation (ACF) organized the Award held on June 16, 2017 at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos. ACF is a growing community of young African leaders passionate about humanitarian services.

Ashiru was chosen for the Award after a rigorous search choose to identify with his accomplishments at setting a new agenda for Africa, with his pioneering spirit in the field of health care, coupled with the fact that he was appointed the youngest professor in the field of Medicine in Africa at the age of 32. He has over 40 years experience in the treatment of Infertility and reproductive endocrinology, with several pioneering breakthroughs in medical science including first test tube baby research, first sickle cell free baby pre-implantation genetic testing. He has also pioneered the use of Modern Mayr Medicine therapy in Africa

Ashiru is also the Group Medical Director and Chief executive officer of Mart Group. Ashiru thanked the African Child Foundation for the honor and dedicated the award to all the staff in Mart Group for their professionalism, care and dedication in the discharge of their respective duties every day. He said the Mart Group with the help of God Almighty would endeavor to continue to put smiles on the faces of everyone that comes to us with a challenge and maintain utmost perfection and continue to be part of the world’s cutting edge development in this area of medicine.

Medical device industry introduces new ethics code

Medical device industry introduces new ethics code

The new Medical Device Code of Ethical Marketing and Business Practice allows for self-regulation by the industry, and seeks to ensure that members, and medical devices companies in general, do not offer inducements to healthcare providers or other customers in order to sell, lease, recommend or arrange for the sale or lease of their products.

The development is in recognition of the unique features of the medical device industry. It is characterised by rapid technological advancement and frequent introduction of new products and product lines. Continual innovation requires that healthcare professionals be properly trained in order to use medical devices safely and appropriately, and companies provide demonstration, training and practice sessions on an ongoing basis.

“There is close scrutiny over the healthcare industry in South Africa and globally. The code is an instrument for reconciling professional and business cultures within the medical device and healthcare industries, said Rob Millar, chair of the South African Medical Device Industry Association (Samed) code committee said. The association is the custodian of the code.

“Our industry has a social and moral responsibility not only to customers, but to patients and society at large. Samed members need to have close working relationships with healthcare professionals to provide optimal value to patients and customers. The code directs how this should be done responsibly and by avoiding potentially perverse practices.”

The code is formulated as a user-friendly reference to facilitate voluntary compliance – which is a condition of Samed membership. It is Samed’s hope that in the future, the code may be recognised by the minister of health as an industry-wide code that encompasses all medical device companies.

Some of the provisions of the code are:
Sponsorship of healthcare professionals at conferences organised by third parties will be prohibited from 1 January 2018 – aligning South Africa to European and other jurisdictions;
.Hosting of product and procedure training, or other company events for professional and marketing purposes, needs to have a suitable programme and be held in venues of reasonable hospitality; and
All gifts from suppliers to healthcare providers or organisations are considered inappropriate, while specific regulations guide the provision of items for promotional or medical purposes.

A code with teeth

“The code also has teeth in the form of complaint-lodging procedures with a provision for independent investigation of alleged transgressions,” explains Millar. “It views suspected infringements through the lens of individuals with a sound knowledge of the industry, while introducing experts with an understanding of legal principles and investigational methods.”

The range of sanctions is set out in a schedule which forms part of the code. Sanctions include options of restitution, monetary fines and publication of confirmed infringements together with the name of the company or individual transgressing the code.

The code applies directly to Samed member companies, and their agents and contractors.

Applies to healthcare practitioners

Millar says that the code also applies to healthcare practitioners and organisations in the public and private health sectors in their role as customers of medical device companies – although their conduct is subject to the provisions of other professional codes or legislation. All healthcare providers who make medical product-related decisions, whether clinical or non-clinical staff including procurement officers and supply chain managers, need to be familiar with the code, and avoid infringements or report occasions when it has been transgressed.

In formulating the Code, Samed has aimed to align it with international best practice regarding value-based procurement, as well as with the relevant South African legislation and ethical codes.

Nigeria: NAF Provides Free Medical Services to 400, 000 IDPs

Nigeria: NAF Provides Free Medical Services to 400, 000 IDPs

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it has provided free healthcare services to over 400,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-eastern States.

According to NAF the 400,000 victims of the Boko Haram terrorists were reached through its medical outreach programmes that began since 2015.

To this end, NAF, through its Medical Services Branch, recently organized a medical outreach programme for IDPs at the Mainok, Benishek and Jakana Camps in Borno State.

The programme, which held from 1 – 3 June 2017, according to the force, is one of the series of medical outreaches scheduled to hold at various IDP camps in the State during the Ramadan period.

“The outreach addressed various medical challenges confronting the IDPs in the 3 selected camps. In particular, the NAF medical team conducted eye tests and other tests to monitor vital signs of the IDPs at no cost to them. Subsequently, medicated eye glasses as well as preventive and curative drugs were given to the IDPs as necessary, all free of any costs.

Speaking during an interview, the Director of Humanitarian Services at Headquarters of the NAF, Air Commodore Harold Onyechi said the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar is always interested in providing free medical care as part of its contributions to the welfare of IDPs all over the country. Furthermore, he expressed satisfaction in the huge turnout, which was an indication of the people’s appreciation of the gesture from the NAF. He also believed it was an acknowledgement of the value that the NAF was adding in providing the much needed medical succour to IDPs in the camps,” a statement signed by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore OLATOKUNBO ADESANYA said.

The statement stated that a total of 3,075 IDPs from Benishek, Mainok and Jakana IDP Camps in Borno State benefited from the 3-day exercise making a total of over 400,000 to have benefited from the NAF medical outreach.

“The NAF has so far provided free healthcare to over 400,000 IDPs through its medical outreach programmes since inception in 2015,” the statement added.

It would be recalled that the NAF is also currently operating 2 emergency hospitals at Dalori and Bama IDP camps.

Pfizer and Takeda join BIO Ventures to tackle Africa cancer crisis

Pfizer and Takeda join BIO Ventures to tackle Africa cancer crisis

Pfizer and Takeda have joined together with non-profit BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) and the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer to launch the African Access Initiative (AAI).

Launched yesterday, June 21, at the 2017 BIO International Convention, the initiative will work to tackle Africa’s emerging cancer crisis by expanding access to oncology medicines and improving cancer care in Africa.

According to a statement from the initiative, cancer kills 60% more people in Africa than malaria, and the number of cancer deaths is expected to increase by almost 70% by 2030.

Four African countries—Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria—have been selected for the first phase of the initiative.

Freda Lewis-Hall, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Pfizer, said: “At Pfizer, we strive to provide access to safe, effective, and affordable medicines worldwide, and the need is particularly urgent in oncology given the rising burden of cancer.”

Lewis-Hall added that Pfizer realises that “no single entity can accomplish this ambitious goal, so we are excited to partner with BVGH, African governmental and healthcare leaders, and leading cancer researchers on AAI”.

Christophe Weber, president and CEO of Takeda, added: “In line with Takeda’s values, our access to medicines strategy will expand on our existing commitments to enhance global health, so that our innovative and potentially life-saving medicines can be more accessible and affordable to patients in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The 2017 BIO International Convention is taking place in San Diego from June 19 to 22.

Researchers discover unknown enzyme in pathogens responsible for African sleeping sickness

Researchers discover unknown enzyme in pathogens responsible for African sleeping sickness

The life-threatening African trypanosomiasis, also called sleeping sickness, is caused by protozoa of the species Trypanosoma brucei. A team at the Biocentre of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, studies the pathogens and has now reported exciting news: The trypanosomes have a so far unknown enzyme which does not exist in humans and other vertebrates. This makes it a promising target for therapy.

Dr. Susanne Kramer and her team published the new findings in the journal PLOS Pathogens. “The enzyme is called TbALPH1,” the researcher details. “It triggers the degradation of messenger RNA and is totally different from the enzymes responsible for this process in higher organisms.”

The JMU researcher counts the Trypanosoma enzyme among the class of ApaH-like phosphatases which are of bacterial origin. Although this class of enzymes does not exist in vertebrates, it is found in other groups of animals. “We don’t know yet which function the enzymes have there. So we want to study next whether ApaH-like phosphatases from other organisms are equally involved in degrading the messenger RNA,” Kramer says.

Facts about sleeping sickness

Trypanosomes are wide-spread in sub-Saharan Africa. The worm-like parasites are transmitted by the bite of an infected tsetse fly. Each year, there are 30,000 new infections. Initial symptoms include headaches and joint pains followed by confusion, seizures and other symptoms in later stages. Finally, the sufferers fall into coma and die.

There are no vaccines available against the pathogens; the available drugs can have extreme side effects. So there is urgent demand for better medication to treat the disease. Trypanosomes not only infect humans. They also kill cattle, goats and other livestock thereby causing additional damage: In some regions of Africa, breeding livestock is hardly possible due to the trypanosomes.