In a joint effort to enhance research and development related to the use of traditional medicines for COVID-19 in Africa, the WHO Regional Office for Africa and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have launched an expert advisory committee to provide independent scientific advice and support to countries on the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicine therapies.

Approximately one third of people in the Americas are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying health conditions. To help confront this, the WHO Regional Office of the Americas/PAHO, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, have developed a new data model that provides a more accurate picture of the prevalence of underlying health conditions in the Americas.

In his regular media briefing,WHO Director-General Dr Tedros reiterated the importance of contact tracing in all communities affected by COVID-19, stating that “No country can get control of its epidemic if it doesn’t know where the virus is”.

As the pandemic deepens economic and social stress, the risk of gender-based violence intensifies, with serious consequences for mental health of those at risk. WHO Regional Director for the Americas, Dr Carissa F. Etienne emphasized the need for integrating psychosocial support and mental health services as part of the COVID19 response.

COVID-19 affects us all, but most especially vulnerable populations such as refugees and migrants. To assess the public health and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees and migrants, WHO and partners are conducting a global study called ‘ApartTogether’. You can participate through a survey currently being conducted.

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