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Bill Gates warns countries around the world need to prepare for next pandemic

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(Last Updated On: January 25, 2023)

Bill Gates has a clear message for the world: get ready for the next pandemic.

The Microsoft co-founder told the Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney that politicians need to be able to set aside their differences in order to prepare for the next major virus.

But, despite his warnings, Gates praised Australia’s policies that kept the coronavirus from spreading while the world waited for a vaccine.

“Some of the things that stand out are that Australia and about seven other countries did population-scale diagnostics early on and had quarantine policies…that meant you kept the level of infection low in that first year when there were no vaccines,” he tech billionaire turned philanthropist said.

“The one thing that still hangs in the balance is will we have the global capacity and at the regional and country levels that would mean that when an [infectious disease] threat comes up we act in such a way that it doesn’t go global.”

He then went on to stress that leaders need to be revisiting their pandemic policies every few years to ensure they are as prepared as possible in the event of a mass-scale virus, infection, or disease.

“We need to be doing every five years a comprehensive exercise at both country and regional levels of pandemic preparedness and you need a global group that’s scoring everybody,” he said.

He likened the exercise to workplace fire drills to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.

“That’s definitely a best practice in the future,” Gates said.

Speaking of America, Gates slammed Donald Trump’s Covid-19 policies in the US during his tenure as President, stating that America’s failure to quarantine en masse and scale up diagnostics for the virus was precisely why the nation recorded a staggering 1.1 million deaths.

Gates is currently visiting Australia with members of his Breakthrough Energy company.

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Ebad discusses healthcare with UN agency

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(Last Updated On: February 14, 2024)

Acting health minister Qalandar Ebad, met Tuesday with the representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Afghanistan for discussions on bolstering the country’s healthcare infrastructure.

The meeting underscored collaborative efforts aimed at improving facilities, particularly through the refurbishment of health centers, enhancing mobile healthcare units, fostering greater coordination, providing technical assistance to health departments, and addressing other pertinent issues, a statement from the ministry read.

Ebad underscored the need for enhanced healthcare provision and the augmentation of public access to health services as being of paramount importance.

He expressed a steadfast commitment to elevating the caliber of health services in conjunction with health partners in the country.

Echoing the sentiments, the United Nations Population Fund representative reaffirmed the organization’s dedication to sustained collaboration in the healthcare domain.

Assuring ongoing support to the Ministry of Public Health, the representative pledged continued cooperation while acknowledging the prevailing constraints and opportunities.

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Women’s healthcare requires 75 percent female workers: Ebad

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(Last Updated On: February 9, 2024)

Acting Minister of Public Health Qalandar Ebad has said that the country’s health sector needs 75 percent female workers to provide health services to women.

Speaking in a debate program on Ariana News, Ebad said that the health sector has made progress but it is still facing some challenges.

According to him, after the political change in Afghanistan, access to health services has increased, but in provision of quality services, Afghanistan’s health sector is facing a shortage of female health workers, specialized medics, new technological equipment and medicines.

“I have said in many occasions that we need 75 percent presence of female workers for women’s healthcare. That means, if 75 percent of our sisters are not present in this area, we may not be able to reach the target,” Ebad said.

He also stated that there are about 70 specialty hospitals and 11,000 beds across the country, but 45,000 beds are needed to access standard health services.

According to him, the pharmaceutical industry in the country is very weak and only about three percent of the needed medicines are produced domestically.

Ebad admitted that there are problems in the field of cancer treatment. He said that Afghanistan needs international license for radiotherapy.

A large number of Afghans travel to other countries, especially to Pakistan and India, for the purpose of treating their patients, with expenses reaching millions of dollars.

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WHO: Nearly 400 people died last month due to acute respiratory disease in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2024)

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that in the last two weeks, 84,000 cases of acute respiratory diseases have been registered in Afghanistan.

Between January 1 to 27, 160,756 cases of acute respiratory infection were registered in Afghanistan, of which 383 people died due to the disease across 34 provinces.

The World Health Organization published a report saying that acute respiratory infections have increased in Afghanistan in the last two weeks, and this is a worrying issue.

“From January 1st to the 27th of this month, 160,756 cases of acute respiratory infection were registered in Afghanistan, of which 383 people died due to this disease in 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

“Also, 62.9 percent of these patients are children under the age of five, and a total of 49.3 percent of patients are women and girls,” WHO said.

The Ministry of Public Health also says the rate of respiratory diseases is increasing, and in the first month of the year, 1.88 million people visited government health centers due to respiratory problems, most of which were children under five.

Sharafat Zaman, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health, adds that eight million people have suffered from respiratory diseases this solar year.

However, some people suffering from respiratory diseases say that the cold coupled with air pollution resulted in them falling ill.

At the same time, the Political Deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a meeting with the General Director of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), requested the continuation of aid from this organization for Afghanistan.
In this meeting, Philip Ribeiro, the head of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), said this organization provided health services to about 700,000 people in Afghanistan in 1402 solar year.

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