Stem Cell Awareness Day: Young Black and Asian Men Urge To Register as Stem Cell Donors.

NHS Blood and Transplant is urging young Black African, Black Caribbean, and Asian men to register as lifesaving stem cell donors.

Blood stem cell transplants are used to treat blood cancers and we simply don’t have enough young black or Asian men on the registry.

Only 37% of transplant recipients from minority ethnic backgrounds receive the best stem cell donor match from an unrelated donor, compared to nearly 72% for Caucasian people.

There is a particular need for more young men because clinical data shows us that transplants from young, male donors are more successful. They provide the highest doses of healthy stem cells.

75% of people who go on to successfully donate stem cells are males aged under 30 but only 12% of people on the UK’s combined stem cell registry are from this background.

Stem cell transplants help treat conditions where the bone marrow is damaged and is no longer able to produce healthy blood cells. This can help treat conditions affecting blood cells, such as leukaemia, aplastic anaemia and multiple myeloma.

The best chance of finding a match is from a sibling or a close family member. Around 30% of people find a match in their family. If there are no matches in the family, a search on the British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR) will be carried out.

Khaled El-Ghariani, Consultant in Haematology and Transfusion Medicine at NHS Blood and Transplant said: Every offer to donate is valuable. But if you are a young black or Asian man, you are one of the most urgently needed people that we need to register as a potential blood stem cell donor. Your generosity and good health could save a stranger’s life.”

Dr M Suhail Asghar, Consultant in Blood Donations, Stem Cell Donations and Transplant, Therapeutic Apheresis Services at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: When a transplant centre has a choice of potential donors, they select young male donors first. This is because men produce higher stem cell yields, since they are on average bigger bodied. The more cells donated the more successful the transplant is likely to be.

In addition, as stem cells age, they have a higher risk of abnormalities or poor function. Younger people are less likely to have medical conditions that would stop them being able to donate.

“And genetically, patients in need of a stem cell transplant are far more likely to match with Stem Cell donors of a similar ethnicity. People from ethnic majority backgrounds often have rarer tissue types which makes it harder to find matching donors.”

Abrar Ali, 27, from Wandsworth in London, donated his blood stem cells in August 2019. He said: “I donated blood for the first time through an initiative organised by my local mosque with The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign which is the UK’s most successful Muslim blood donation partnership.

“The blood donation staff spoke to me about potentially donating a sample for the British Bone marrow Registry and I decided ‘why not’- it was another potential way of helping others.

Nigerian Broadcasting Commission Proposes Bill to Tackle Social Media Challenges

In a bid to address the evolving landscape of media and communication, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has sent a bill to the National Assembly seeking to repeal and reenact the existing NBC act. The proposed bill aims to equip the NBC with the necessary tools to regulate social media platforms and effectively manage the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.

During a meeting at the NBC headquarters, Balarabe Ilelah, the Director-General of the NBC, expressed his concerns about social media by referring to it as a “monster.” He emphasized that the current legislation does not grant the NBC the authority to regulate social media platforms, which has become one of the major challenges faced by the commission and the country as a whole.

Ilelah explained, “We are pleased to inform you that a bill for an act to repeal and amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) act has been introduced in the national assembly. This bill has been drafted to address various important aspects, including the transition to digital broadcasting, enhancement of audio and video quality, efficient spectrum management, establishment of the Nigeria Broadcast Institute, social media regulation, and other related matters that are not adequately covered in the existing act. Social media poses a significant challenge, and without appropriate legislation empowering the NBC to address these issues, it will continue to negatively impact our daily lives.”

While the NBC aims to maintain a collaborative approach with broadcasters and stakeholders, prioritizing negotiations and understanding, Ilelah disclosed that in 2023, the commission had to issue 1,238 warnings and impose penalties on six different stations due to violations. The proposed bill seeks to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework that enables the NBC to effectively address social media-related concerns while upholding responsible broadcasting practices.

This bill reflects the NBC’s recognition of the transformative power and influence of social media in Nigeria’s media landscape. By seeking to regulate social media, the NBC endeavours to strike a balance between freedom of expression and the need to protect against misinformation and hate speech, among other potential challenges associated with online content dissemination. The bill will now proceed through the legislative process in the National Assembly, where it will be reviewed and debated before any potential amendments to the regulatory framework are made.

South African Amapiano Sensation Tyla Makes Billboard Hot 100 Debut with “Water”

In an extraordinary achievement for the South African music scene, 21-year-old Tyla, the rising star of the Amapiano genre, has made an impressive entry into the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 chart with her viral hit “Water.” The Billboard Hot 100 is the renowned US music chart that ranks the most popular tracks each week based on listener engagement.

Billboard magazine announced on its website that Tyla, the talented singer-songwriter, has made her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her breakthrough single “Water,” securing the 67th spot. This remarkable feat has garnered international recognition for the young South African artist.

Tyla Laura Seethal, a multi-talented artist known for her singing, dancing, and captivating performances, has quickly emerged as one of the most promising talents in Africa’s music industry. Signed to Epic Records (Sony), she has already achieved significant milestones in her career, including opening for renowned American R&B singer Chris Brown during his European tour this year.

Her single “Water,” released in July, showcases the distinctive Amapiano style that originated in South African townships before gaining global popularity. The track gained rapid traction, especially on TikTok, where a video of Tyla’s dance moves garnered over 70 million views. The official music video, infused with R&B elements, has already amassed over eleven million views on YouTube. Furthermore, “Water” has surpassed the monthly listening figures of the global hit “Jerusalema” by South Africa’s Master KG on Spotify.

Expressing her excitement on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Tyla exclaimed, “I’m a South African born and bred in Johannesburg. It’s crazy.” She urged everyone to continue spreading their unique sound worldwide, considering her Billboard success as a victory for the entire African music scene. Tyla is currently preparing for the release of her debut album, which is highly anticipated by her growing fan base.

Tyla’s breakthrough on the Billboard Hot 100 is a testament to the remarkable talent emanating from South Africa and serves as an inspiration for aspiring artists across the continent. Her infectious music and electrifying performances have captivated audiences, propelling her to new heights of success and solidifying her position as a rising star in the global music landscape.

Air France Resumes Mali Route with Third-Party Plane and Crews Amid Security Concerns

Air France has announced that it will resume flights to Mali starting Friday, using a plane and crews from a third-party company. The airline had suspended its Mali route in early August following the coup in neighbouring Niger.

In coordination with the French Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) and Malian authorities, Air France spokesperson confirmed that service to Bamako from Paris-Charles de Gaulle will recommence on October 13, 2023. The company is also working closely with Burkinabè authorities to resume flights to Burkina Faso as soon as possible. However, service to Niamey, Niger, remains suspended until further notice.

Flights between Paris and Bamako will operate three times a week (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays) using a Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft provided by the Portuguese company EuroAtlantic Airways. The flights will no longer be operated by Air France’s own planes. The crew will also consist of employees from EuroAtlantic Airways, which specializes in regular flights as well as rental and charter services.

Air France assures that the aircraft provided by EuroAtlantic Airways complies with all French and European regulations. It is equipped with 30 seats in the Business cabin, 24 seats in the Premium Economy cabin, and 239 seats in the Economy cabin. The onboard services will be the same as those offered on Air France-operated flights. Passengers whose flights are cancelled will be rebooked on available flights or provided with the option to modify their reservation free of charge.

The decision to use a third-party company and crew for this connection is due to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs “formally” advising against French citizens traveling to Mali, including airline crew, due to the tense security situation. In March, Air France’s pilots’ union called on its members to exercise their right of withdrawal if they did not wish to fly to Bamako.

Security concerns have been raised by various authorities. The American federal agency overseeing aviation (FAA) cited an “increased risk” for commercial aircraft overflying or serving Mali due to the installation of anti-aircraft missile batteries by the Russian mercenary group Wagner. Following Air France’s suspension of the Paris-Bamako route, Malian authorities revoked the company’s authorization to operate the line, considering it a breach of the operating authorization.

Tensions between France and Mali have escalated since the military took control in Bamako in August 2020. The junta expelled French forces in 2022 and shifted its political and military alliances towards Russia. This strained relationship has impacted air travel between the two countries.

Air France emphasizes that the safety of its customers and crews is its top priority and closely monitors the geopolitical situation in the areas it serves and flies over.


Source: Africa News

Africa Young Innovators for Health Award Recognises Pioneering Entrepreneurs Driving Universal Health Coverage

In a celebration of scientific excellence and innovation in Africa, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa have announced the winners of the second edition of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. The prestigious award recognises young entrepreneurs who are making significant strides in advancing healthcare solutions and driving universal health coverage in their communities.

The first prize winners of the award are Teniola Adedeji from Nigeria and Dr. Moses Ochora from Uganda. Adedeji, the CEO of Pharmarun, an on-demand platform that provides convenient access to essential medications, expressed her commitment to ensuring universal health coverage through collaborations among pharmacies. Dr. Moses Ochora, the Co-Founder and CEO of Photo-Kabada, a remotely monitored phototherapy device designed to reduce neonatal jaundice-related morbidity and mortality, emphasised the importance of homegrown solutions in achieving universal health coverage.

The second prize winners of the award are Nura Izath from Uganda and Muhammad Abdullahi from Nigeria, who were also recognized for their innovative contributions to healthcare in Africa.

The second edition of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award focused on innovations that aim to achieve universal health coverage across the continent. While many African governments have expressed their commitment to achieving universal health coverage by 2030, there is a need to accelerate progress. The award sought to support entrepreneurs whose innovations can extend population and service coverage while ensuring financial protection for patients.

Yacine Djibo, the Executive Director and Founder of Speak Up Africa, highlighted the importance of fresh and purposeful health innovations in advancing equity and delivering essential health services. The award aimed to promote gender equality and support entrepreneurs who contribute to the goal of universal healthcare coverage.

Thomas Cueni, the Director General of IFPMA, congratulated the winners and expressed the organisation’s commitment to accelerating innovation in delivering universal healthcare coverage. Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Director of Neglected Tropical Disease at the World Health Organisation and a jury member of the second edition, commended the program for its tangible and intangible support to African entrepreneurs, contributing to the achievement of common goals.

The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is a program launched in 2021 by Speak Up Africa and IFPMA. It provides young health entrepreneurs in Africa with funding, business mentorship, intellectual property rights guidance, media training, and access to a network of supporters and partners.

Supported by organisations such as Amref Health Africa, Forum Galien Afrique, and Women in Global Health, the award program recognises the crucial role of innovation in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and fulfilling the fundamental human right to health.

The winners of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award are poised to make significant contributions to advancing universal health coverage and transforming healthcare in Africa. Their innovations hold the potential to improve health outcomes and create lasting positive change in their communities and beyond.


Source: Independent Uganda