Connect with us

News

‘Landmark collaboration’ on COVID-19 testing and treatment

Avatar photo

Published

on

The UN health agency’s new guidance comes after world leaders, scientists, humanitarians and private sector partners came together on Friday in “a landmark collaboration” to make new tools and medicines to diagnose and treat COVID-19, accessible to people everywhere.

The virtual launch of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, saw participation from all corners of the planet to boost commitment and support for the production of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to save lives from an unprecedented enemy.

“A world free of COVID-19 requires the most massive public health effort in global history,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking from New York.

“Data must be shared, production capacity prepared, resources mobilized, communities engaged, and politics set aside. I know we can do it. I know we can put people first”.

COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019 and was declared a global pandemic three months later. So far, there have been more than 2.6 million cases worldwide, and nearly 182,000 deaths, according to WHO.

The health crisis has also affected everything from the global economy, to education, employment and travel.

Since January, the agency has been working with thousands of researchers across the globe to accelerate and track development of a vaccine against the disease. 

WHO has also developed diagnostics which are being used by several countries and is currently coordinating a “solidarity” clinical trial of four therapeutics to treat the virus.

“The world needs these tools, and it needs them fast,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, one of the co-hosts of Friday’s event.

‘Landmark collaboration’ to make COVID-19 testing and treatment available to all

World leaders, scientists, humanitarians and private sector partners united on Friday in “a landmark collaboration” that will make new tools and medicines to diagnose and treat COVID-19, accessible to people everywhere.

The virtual launch of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, saw participation from all corners of the planet to boost commitment and support for the production of  diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to save lives from an unprecedented enemy.

Heads of State who took part included the Presidents of France,  South Africa, Costa Rica, Spain and Rwanda.

“A world free of COVID-19 requires the most massive public health effort in global history,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking from New York.

“Data must be shared, production capacity prepared, resources mobilized, communities engaged, and politics set aside. I know we can do it. I know we can put people first”.

No one is safe

Mr. Guterres underlined that in an interconnected world, no one is safe from the new coronavirus disease.  

“COVID-19 respects no borders. COVID-19 anywhere is a threat to people everywhere,” he said.

COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan, China, last December and was declared a global pandemic three months later. So far, there have been more than 2.6 million cases worldwide, and nearly 182,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The health crisis has also affected everything from the global economy, to education, employment and travel.

Since January, WHO has been working with thousands of researchers across the globe to accelerate and track development of a vaccine against the disease.

The UN agency  has also developed diagnostics which are being used by several countries, and is currently coordinating a “solidarity” clinical trial of four therapeutics to treat the virus.

“The world needs these tools, and it needs them fast,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, one of the event’s co-hosts.

‘The most rapid vaccine deployment in history’

Tedros described the ACT Accelerator as “a landmark collaboration” as it brings together the combined power of several organizations.

The global vaccine alliance, GAVI, is among key partners working to speed up development of COVID-19 tools.

“We need to devise and deliver a vaccine programme to get billions of doses out at a speed and scale never before contemplated, let alone achieved: the most rapid vaccine deployment in history”, said Seth Berkley, the alliance’s Chief Executive Officer.

The biopharmaceutical industry also stands ready to bring its unique knowledge to the partnership, as well as its expertise and experience – including in building manufacturing and distribution networks.

“Today, scientists in the public and private sector hold the keys to our common goal: the swift end of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Thomas B. Cueni, Director-General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers.

“In the fight against COVID-19, we must ensure that no one is left behind. We will only succeed in this journey together.”

Pledging conference ahead

The European Commission will on 4 May host a Global Pledging Effort and replenishing campaign to raise 7.5 billion Euros to support the ramping up of COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments.

However, this is but the first step, as beating the virus will require sustained actions on many fronts, said Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission President.

“We need to develop a vaccine, we need to produce it and to deploy it in every single corner of the world, and make it available at affordable prices. This vaccine will be our universal common good”, she stated.

Continue Reading
Comments

Finance

France challenges UK for title of Europe’s Greatest Equities Market

Avatar photo

Published

on

Paris is challenging London’s leadership as home to Europe’s largest stock market, undermining post-Brexit Britain’s standing as the continent’s most important financial center, – recognizes “The Financial Times”.

The market capitalization of all companies listed in the French capital rose from $1.8 trillion at the start of 2016 to $2.83 trillion, closing the value of London shares at $2.89 trillion, according to Refinitiv.

“It is a result of the poor performance of British equities, the poor pipeline and performance of new issues in the UK, and the terrible performance of the pound. It is clearly not good news for London – and Brexit is a big factor in all three.”

To re-establish its traditional leadership, the UK government aims in the coming months to finalize proposals to reform the City of London.

However, competition from Paris is set to intensify as France is rated the preferred European stock market by fund managers. 17 percent of fund managers said they planned to “overweight” French equities over the next 12 months, according to a Bank of America survey of 161 investment managers with combined assets of $313 billion.

Paris is difficult London’s lead as the house to Europe’s greatest inventory market, consuming away at Britain’s place after Brexit because the continent’s most essential monetary centre.

“This gap between London and Paris in the domestic market is a lot smaller than it used to be or should be,” stated William Wright, founding father of New Financial, a UK think-tank, – writes “Business Land”.

…Thus the strange politics of London in recent years – from Brexit to a kaleidoscope of people in the prime minister’s chair, has led to the fact that Britain may say ‘goodbye’ even to such a privilege as being the financial center of the World and Europe.

International Affairs

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

In fight against male cancer, caring for mental health is a growing priority

Avatar photo

Published

on

By Anthony King

At a hotel in the Scottish city of Aberdeen about 20 years ago, urologist James N’Dow and other doctors met a group of men who had suffered prostate cancer to ask for feedback on their care before and after surgery. The clinicians were stunned by the critical, albeit constructive, responses.

‘Frankly, they felt abandoned,’ said Professor N’Dow, who works at the University of Aberdeen. ‘When we discharged them after surgery, we thought their general practitioners were looking after them and their GPs thought we were.’

Minding the mind

Dealing with the emotional and mental toll of prostate cancer has grown in importance along with detecting and curing the disease itself. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cancer among men in Europe and is sometimes mistakenly viewed as a disease only of old age. It caused an estimated 335 500 cases, or 12.5% of cancers, in the EU in 2020.

Prof N’Dow heads an Innovative Medicines Initiative project – PIONEER – on prostate cancer that seeks to improve diagnosis and treatment. A parallel EU-funded initiative called FAITH is developing an electronic application for cancer survivors that could help spot if the “black dog” of depression is stalking them.

‘Depression is a big thing in post-cancer survivors,’ said Gary McManus, who leads FAITH and works at the Walton Institute for Information and Communication Systems Science in Waterford, Ireland.

Four in 10 men who have been treated for prostate cancer say they are anxious or depressed to some degree, with troubles worsening the more advanced the cancer, according to a 2020 study by Europa Uomo, a European advocacy movement for sufferers of the disease. Prostate cancer can increase the risk of suicide.

Stopping the spread

When prostate cancer is caught early enough, a man can be cured. If it spreads beyond the prostate, the cost of treatment is high and delivers minimal benefit. Usually, the disease will spread – metastasize – to the bones and lymph nodes.

‘It is not curable at that stage,’ said Prof N’Dow. ‘We are still picking up too many men with metastatic disease – and this is a failure of the system.’

Without treatment, the average period of survival from prostate cancer that has spread beyond the gland is about 21 months. With some newer therapies, some metastatic prostate cancer patients can survive five years or more.

Even when the cancer is aggressive, if it is restricted to the prostate gland a patient can be cured by surgery or radiation therapy – or a combination. Almost 95% of these patients are still alive up to 15 years after their diagnosis. Treatment can, however, affect a man’s urinary or erectile function.

Prof N’Dow hails recent EU recommendations to screen prostate cancer in men up to the age of 70 using a blood test and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans based on an individual’s risk. Certain men over 50 and those of African descent or with a family history of prostate cancer are at heightened risk from this cancer and should be targeted for early detection.

Tracking the blues

Amid the efforts to improve detection and cures, FAITH’s planned app highlights the heightened focus on the psychological well-being of cancer patients.

Although it is being tested on people who have overcome lung and breast cancer, the app could be made to work for survivors of the disease in other parts of the body including the prostate.

In its study two years ago on anxiety or depression among men who have been treated for prostate cancer, Europa Uomo said 0.5% felt either one to an “extreme” degree and almost 4% to a “severe” extent. Nearly 11% and 28% fell into “moderate” and “slight” categories, respectively.   

A tracker of sorts, the app is being developed by European technologists and cancer doctors working together. The tests are taking place at three hospitals in Ireland, Spain and Portugal.

At home, a wearable watch records movement and sleep patterns that get fed into a phone app. Patients must occasionally answer questions from the app, for example about dietary choices, while a voice module checks for any changes in a person’s speech that may indicate depression.

In all, 27 measurements are being tracked in a bid to uncover which ones could flag a downward trajectory in a patient’s mental health. Performance will be compared against clinical questionnaires that doctors already use to monitor patients.

‘Once the patient is signed out of the hospital, they’re often on their own,’ said McManus. ‘If the hospital gives this app to a patient, doctors can remotely monitor how the patient is getting on.’

The phone app will not send sensitive patient data to the Internet. Instead, an algorithm is updated on the phone and fed back to the development team, which helps improve the app’s performance.

‘We’ll build our algorithm and try to pick out these downstream trajectories,’ said McManus. ‘Then we are basically training the app.’ Eventually, if the app picks up worrying signals, ‘an alarm is raised in the hospital and the patient is contacted,’ he said.

Empowering patients

The mental-health aspect of cancer diagnosis and care needs to be improved across Europe, according to Prof N’Dow, who said that this is a central goal of the European Association of Urology, where he is adjunct secretary general responsible for education.

‘The impact psychologically of the diagnosis or consequences of treatment is huge,’ he said. ‘This is something we understood in PIONEER.’

The project has sought to ensure that treatment comparisons take into account the impact on patient quality of life such as sexual, bowel or urinary function. Also crucial has been to identify those outcomes that matter most to patients.

That is why PIONEER has included patients themselves in discussions aimed at determining key unanswered research questions about prostate cancer.

‘Patients understand what they need,’ Prof N’Dow said. ‘Our job is to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and get them back to the life they knew before it was rudely interrupted by disease. The psychological well-being of the patient and their families should be recognized as central to that.’

Research in this article was funded via the EU. This material was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine.   

Continue Reading

Tech News

5 Reasons Why Use Premium Proxy Server

Avatar photo

Published

on

Not many people truly know the importance of a premium proxy server. To many people, they believe its sole purpose is to enable them to access websites that their IP address has been barred from accessing. Proxy servers do more than just keep your details private on the internet.

For the record, a proxy server serves as an intermediary between a browsing computer and another server on the internet. The server has its private IP address, which is made open online while shielding the IP address of whoever is browsing. You may think this is just about breaking entry into a secured network server, but it is more than that.

5 Reasons Why Use Premium Proxy Server

Proxy servers are important to the security of anyone browsing the internet. While there are different proxy servers, using a premium one is important for many reasons.

If you are a business owner or an IT person, here is why you must channel some investment into getting a premium proxy server.

Ensures Corporate Security

As more and more people use the internet daily, the number of persons that also use the internet for the wrong reasons also increases drastically. More than ever, companies and brands are taking caution to avoid cyber attacks on their servers.

A data breach could cost a brand its image. Also, it could lead to financial loss for a brand. While a proxy server reduces the risk of breach, a premium server intensifies the security of a server.

They act as a buffer. That’s why cyber attackers might be able to get a proxy, but a premium proxy makes it almost impossible for them to reach the server. And if the server can’t be reached, there won’t be any manipulation on the network.

Be Anonymous

As a business establishment, certain tasks online would require you to do them anonymously. You may not understand the importance of this, except you work in the line of reporters, security agencies, and others. You will need an extra layer of security that will allow you to move in and out of different networks without being noticed.

You can never tell if spies are online trying to monitor your activities. And leaking vital information to a spy or competitor isn’t exactly bold for a business.

Protect Server From Crash

This is very important if you run a business requiring your customers always to visit your website. Imagine an e-commerce website going down due to a server crash; you know how frustrating this will be for their customers.

Premium proxy helps protect your server from crashes. A premium proxy server creates an access point for your website data online. With this, customers can easily access your website without stress. 

Increase Internet Speed

This is one thing not many people know about proxy servers. Many people believe they slow down the internet speed of a browser due to their background internet usage. This is not true.

Proxy servers save bandwidth and increase the internet speed of any browser. It does this by ensuring the following:

  • compress traffic;
  • cache files;
  • remove unwanted ads.

With all of these, the bandwidth is saved to boost internet speed.

Control Employee’s Internet Activities

You won’t want your workers to access certain websites with the company’s network. This might leave your company’s information in the hands of potential threats. With a premium server, you can restrict your workers from accessing certain websites with your company’s network.

Also, with this server, you can access blocked sites. This is the most prominent function of the proxy server known to many. You can bypass restrictions on any site using a premium proxy server.

Conclusion

The function of premium proxy servers can not be overemphasized. It reduces the risk of being vulnerable online. So you should consider getting one today.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Trending