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Weekly Roundups

New National Health Plan Will Focus on Southeast Region

By Paloma Duran | Thu, 03/25/2021 - 16:54

Mexico faces important health challenges due to low investment in the sector in recent years. In addition, the government is designing a new National Health Plan that will focus on Mexico’s southeast region due to its significant health access gaps. This week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) advised against the use of Ivermectin as more research is needed to know concerning effectiveness in COVID-19 cases.

Here is the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-Héctor Valle, President of the Mexican Foundation for Health, said Mexico faces important health challenges, such as access to services and the lack of hospital personnel, due to the low investment the country has made in the sector in the last 30 years.

-The differences between the north and south in terms of healthcare access in Mexico have led the current administration to design a National Health Plan, which will focus first on the southeastern part of the country, since socioeconomic, residence, gender, origin and ethnicity conditions have widened the health access gap.

-Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City Mayor, sent a proposal to Congress for the creation of a Health Laboratory for future health crises. This facility will analyze possible health risks and carry out epidemiological surveillance. The new laboratory would be in charge of SEDESA and would coordinate the network of public laboratories and guide decision-making.

-The US plans to send 2.7 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to Mexico and another 1.5 million doses to Canada. This is the first time the US has supplied vaccines to another country and according to BBC News, the new plan comes after China exported vaccines to several countries in what is being called “vaccine diplomacy.”

-So far, the Mexican government has administered 6.119 million COVID-19 vaccines. The population that has been vaccinated includes doctors, nurses, hospital personnel and athletes who will participate in the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, as well as teachers from Campeche and older adults from all over the country.

-PAHO reported that the number of COVID-19 contagions has stabilized in Mexico, US and Canada. Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO, applauded this situation but emphasized that the health emergency in the region is still active. She explained that South American countries, such as Brazil, have registered a significant increase in contagions, which has affected neighboring countries like Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru. Therefore, this situation could generate a domino effect where North American countries could aggravate their situation.

INTERNATIONAL

-The European Medicines Agency (EMA) advised against the use of the antiparasitic Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 outside clinical trials. After the publications on the benefits of using Ivermectin, EMA reviewed the results of clinical studies, which were varied as some studies did not show any benefit. The agency said more well-designed randomized studies are needed to learn about the product's efficacy and safety.

-Dr. Jenny Harries, UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer, will lead the new UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to prevent and respond to external health threats. The UK government announced that the new agency will be a leader in health security and will provide intellectual, scientific and operational guidance to ensure a better response to internal and external risks. UKSHA's primary focus will be to continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

-India reported the existence of a "double mutant variant" of SARS-CoV-2 in several states of the country. According to authorities, the E484Q and L452R mutations of the virus have not been previously catalogued and, therefore, their genomic sequencing is being analyzed to determine their risks to elaborate a control plan.

-A large number of African countries have implemented fewer health security measures to prevent contagions during the second wave of COVID-19, which already has 30 percent more cases. According to the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the rapid and coordinated response that African countries took during the first wave considerably limited its consequences. However, the continent is currently at a higher risk of suffering a health crisis.

 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Economista, MBN, Infobae, UK Government, EMA, Expansión, Forbes
Photo by:   qimono
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst