Today's Health News in Snippets

23/07/2021

Pfizer-BioNTech to start making jabs in South Africa.jpg

Pfizer-BioNTech to start making jabs in South Africa

The makers of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine say they have found a South African partner to manufacture their jab locally.

 

Under the agreement, Biovac, which is based in Cape Town, will be supplied with the ingredients from facilities in Europe.

 

It will complete the last step in the manufacturing process, known as "fill and finish".

 

Aspen Pharmacare - also in South Africa - has struck a similar arrangement with Johnson & Johnson to produce its single-shot vaccine.

 

Biovac is scheduled to start supplying vaccines to the market by the end of the year. It aims to produce 100 million doses annually.

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Man proposes to woman who gave him life-saving kidney 'as it was the least he could do'.jp

Man proposes to woman who gave him life-saving kidney 'as it was the least he could do'

When Craig Tichelaar was told he needed a kidney transplant, his future wife didn’t hesitate - they tell the Sunday Mirror how organ donation has changed their lives.

 

But when Craig Tichelaar asked Sadie to marry him in Naples in 2018, it was kidneys that prompted the talk of engagement.

 

“I’d never been fussed about getting married, so the proposal came as a total shock,” says Sadie, 43, a local authority senior manager.

 

“But Craig said that if I was willing to give up a kidney for him, the least he could do was marry me.”

 

It had all started with snoring. When the couple moved in together in 2010, Sadie realised Craig’s night-time noises were a problem.

 

“I said he might want to talk to his GP,” she recalls. “I had no idea it could be something serious.”

 

At first it didn’t seem to be. But diagnosed as having high blood pressure, Craig had months of investigations, ending up with a kidney biopsy in late 2010.

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China rejects WHO plan for second phase of new Covid origin probe.jpg

China rejects WHO plan for second phase of new Covid origin probe

China has rejected the next stage of a World Health Organization (WHO) plan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The WHO wants to audit laboratories in the area where the virus was first identified.

 

But Zeng Yixin, deputy health minister, said this showed "disrespect for common sense and arrogance toward science".

 

WHO experts said it was very unlikely the virus escaped from a Chinese lab, but the theory has endured.

 

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Contraceptives for schoolgirls urged in Zimbabwe.jpg

Contraceptives for schoolgirls urged in Zimbabwe

With teenage pregnancies on the rise in Zimbabwe, rights groups are pushing for schoolgirls to be able to obtain contraceptives without parental consent.

 

Florence Mutake, from the Shamiri Yemwanasiana, told the BBC's Newsday programme that the government's vice-president had rejected the proposal put forward by some MPs on "cultural and moral" grounds.

 

But she said it was an issue that needed to be addressed as more than 5,000 girls had become pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic - 2,000 of them aged below 16.

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Kenya uses drones to kill mosquito larvae.jpg

Kenya uses drones to kill mosquito larvae

Kenya has begun using drones to identify mosquito breeding sites in the country and kill them at the larval stage.

 

Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said the drones will help in accessing hard-to-reach areas especially in counties where malaria is prevalent.

 

The drones will be spraying a non-toxic, bio-degradable control substance to kill mosquito larvae.

 

This will ensure the mosquitoes do not breed as the fight against malaria continues.

 

The technology was introduced to the Kenyan government by the Malaria Council - a public-private-community partnership fighting malaria in Kenya - the health minister said.

 

Tanzania and Malawi are some of the African countries also using this technology to fight malaria.

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Child winter respiratory illness on rise in summer.jpg

Child winter respiratory illness on rise in summer in the UK

Parents are being warned to look out for the signs of a common childhood respiratory illness, RSV, cases of which unusually appear to be rising rapidly in the summer.

 

RSV is a very common winter virus - but social distancing and lockdowns kept it at bay earlier this year.

 

And this means young children have not been exposed and developed immunity.

 

Public Health England said it would just cause mild illness for most but some under-twos were at higher risk.

 

These can include infants born prematurely or with a heart condition.

 

And they can be at risk of more serious complications, including breathing difficulties caused by bronchiolitis.

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Sex could help you sleep in heatwave - and could mean you wake up feeling refreshed.jpg

Sex could help you sleep in heatwave - and could mean you wake up feeling refreshed

Struggling to sleep during the heatwave? The best thing you could do may be to get it on.


While it may seem counterproductive to get hot and heavy to combat the warm weather, sex has been linked to a number of benefits that may just help you doze off.

 

As 'The Sleep Geek' James Wilson tells the Mirror, the release of 'cuddle hormones' can put you in the perfect condition to get some rest.

 

Specifically for women, higher estrogen levels can put you into a deeper sleep, while sex can also trigger anti-stress chemicals and help you switch off from glaring electronic devices.

 

Conversely, a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your love life, lowering sex drives for both sexes and leading to some rather unfortunate problems for men.

 

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Death toll from Zuma riots rises to 337.jpg

Death toll from Zuma riots rises to 337

The death toll from the unrest that followed the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma has risen from 276, announced on Wednesday, to 337.

 

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that more people had died from injuries sustained during the violence.

 

The minister said that 213 murder cases were being investigated.

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Breastfeeding linked to lower blood pressure in toddlers, study finds.jpg

Breastfeeding linked to lower blood pressure in toddlers, study finds

Toddlers who were breastfed for any amount of time had lower blood pressure than those who were not breastfed at all, according to a new study, suggesting once again that "breast is best" for health.

 

Prior research shows extended breastfeeding from six months to over a year lowers an infant's risk of obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal infections and more, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also reduces the mother's risk of some cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure.

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