This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
WHO updates guidelines on organ inflammation in children from COVID-19
Children who have developed organ inflammation linked to COVID-19 infection should be given steroid treatment in hospital, the World Health Organization, (WHO), said on Tuesday.
The updated recommendation from the UN health agency comes after it first described Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome In Children Associated With COVID-19 – or MIS-C, for short – last May.
Here’s WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier, speaking in Geneva:
“MIS-C is a rare but serious condition where children with COVID-19 develop inflammation affecting different organs of the body. Children with this condition need specialized care and may need to be admitted to intensive care. Although MIS-C is a serious condition, with the right medical care, children with this condition recover”.
Mr. Lindmeier said that although youngsters remain at a low risk of developing severe or critical COVID-19, some underlying factors make them more susceptible to becoming seriously ill, such as obesity, chronic lung disease – including asthma, cardiovascular disease and immunosuppression.
The WHO recommendation was based on data from three observational studies that pooled the experiences of 885 patients.
Grave concerns over civilians in Yemen’s Marib region
To Yemen now, where UN humanitarians are extremely concerned about the safety of civilians in northern Marib governorate, which is home to some one million displaced people.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, warned that as the frontlines of conflict shift closer to heavily populated areas in the oil-rich region, those lives are in danger.
Access to humanitarian aid is also becoming harder, said UNHCR spokesperson, Shabia Mantoo:
“Rocket strikes close to the sites hosting the displaced are causing fear and panic. The latest incident was reported on 17 November when an artillery shell exploded, without casualties, near a site close to Marib City. UNHCR teams report that there is heavy fighting in the mountains surrounding the city and the sound of explosions and planes can be heard day and night”.
UNHCR is warning that further escalation of the conflict will only increase the vulnerability of people in Marib, and is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen.
Spike in grave violations against kids since 2016 in West, Central Africa
An urgent appeal to protect youngsters in armed conflict now from UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, after it warned that west and central Africa have seen a spike in abuses.
Based on the UN Secretary-General’s report into Children and Armed Conflict, UNICEF pointed to more than 42,000 recorded violations between 2005 and 2020 in west and central Africa.
There were also more than 8,000 cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence committed against children over the same period, along with 4,800 abductions.
Between 2016 and 2020 there was a 50 per cent increase in the total number of grave violations verified, and an “exponential” acceleration between 2019 and 2020.
The UN agency helps child victims of conflict by providing psychological support and vocational training.
But it warned that insecurity in many countries from the Central Sahel to the Lake Chad Basin regions was having “devastating consequences on children”.
Katy Dartford, UN News.