Data analytics firm IDinsight appoints Frida Njogu as East Africa regional director

KENYA – Data analytics, research, and advisory firm–IDinsight has picked Frida Njogu-Ndongwe as its regional director for East Africa amongst other changes at the regional office.   Frida will oversee IDinsight’s projects, partnerships, and collaborations in East Africa, enabling decision-makers to use high-quality evidence to further their goals of improving lives. Frida is a medical doctor, public health specialist, entrepreneur, and development and management consultant. Prior to IDinsight, she was the director of programmes at the Centre for Health Solutions – Kenya and a consultant at McKinsey & Company’s Africa Delivery Hub. She served most recently…

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J&J inks deal with African Vaccine Acquisition Trust for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

AFRICA – Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has entered into an agreement with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to make available up to 220 million doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine candidate to African Union’s 55 member states with delivery beginning in the third quarter of 2021. AVAT also has the potential to order an additional 180 million doses, for a combined total of up to 400 million doses through 2022. The availability of the vaccine candidate is subject to its…

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Comair resumes Johannesburg – Victoria Falls flights

SOUTH AFRICA – British Airways, operated by Comair in South Africa, has announced the reopening of bookings for flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls for travel starting on May 13, 2021. “We are delighted to reopen bookings for our services to Victoria Falls as part of the gradual return to our normal schedule. The reopening of the route is also just in time for customers to experience Victoria Falls during its peak tourist season when the entire length of the Victoria Falls is a thundering wall of falling water from…

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World Bank readies Covid-19 vaccine funds for 30 African countries

AFRICA – The World Bank is preparing emergency financing to help about 30 African countries access Covid-19 vaccines, the global lender told Reuters, as the continent scrambles to secure doses and start immunising vulnerable groups. Only a few African governments have launched mass vaccination campaigns, whereas some countries in wealthier parts of the world have already administered millions of doses. Many rely on the World Health Organization’s vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX, which delivered its first doses last week with a shipment to Ghana. The World Bank said financing projects were being…

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SME health providers in five African countries get US$30m funding from Health Finance Coalition

AFRICA – Private and small- and medium enterprise (SME) health providers in five high malaria burden African countries are set to benefit from a new emergency loan guarantee facility of more than USD$30 million under the Open Doors African Private Healthcare Initiative The loan will support healthcare providers in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda to continue offering essential health services, including malaria treatments, to more than five million Africans.  “Many of our clients are under increased pressure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and see patient visits and…

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European Investment Bank launches US$60.9m Africa pharmaceutical manufacturing program

AFRICA – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched the first ever scheme to strengthen local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Africa and scale up drug manufacturing essential to improve public health. The EIB’s new US$60.9 million pharmaceutical investment initiative, initiated together with kENUP Foundation, will contribute to reducing dependency on drug imports and address medical supply chain weaknesses linked to COVID-19. The programme will improve availability of specialist drugs and tackle supply chain challenges that currently damage public health across Africa. Scaling up pharmaceutical investment in Africa will…

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Global Fund commits US$50 million for COVID-19 rapid tests for low- and medium-income countries

SWITZERLAND – Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator has announced a set of agreements to make available affordable, high-quality COVID-19 antigen rapid tests for low and middle-income countries. The organizations involved in this milestone agreement include the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Global Fund, Unitaid, and the World Health Organization (WHO). As part of this comprehensive, end-to-end effort, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has executed separate volume guarantee agreements…

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WHO urges African countries to take actions to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines

AFRICA – The World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa has joined immunization experts in urging the international community and countries in Africa to take concrete actions to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, as researchers around the world race to find effective protection against the virus. WHO and partners launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to speed up the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. It brings together leaders of government, global health organizations civil society groups, businesses and philanthropies to form a…

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AfDB approves US$2m assistance for WHO-led measures against COVID-19 in Africa

Ethiopia secures US$165M in grant funds from AfDB to bolster COVID-19 emergency response efforts

AFRICA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved US$2 million emergency assistance for the World Health Organisation (WHO), to reinforce its capacity to help African countries contain the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement issued by the Bank’s Communication and External Relations Department, AfDB said that the fund would also help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. The bank explained that the grant, which was in response to an international appeal by the WHO, would be used by the world body to equip Regional Member…

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