PharmaLedger Association Launches Digital Trust Ecosystem in Healthcare

photo PharmaLedger video release link

original image of PharmaLedger event and link to video release

BASEL, Switzerland, March 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The PharmaLedger Association™ (PLA), a not-for-profit based in Switzerland, announces the endorsement of its 3-year strategic plan to implement and promote a Digital Trust Ecosystem in healthcare (DTE-H) at its Annual General Meeting held in Lucerne, Switzerland on 1 March 2023. The member organizations also confirmed the appointment of eight Directors to its board, delivering on PLA’s core value of “Ecosystem Leadership.”

Representing the diversity of healthcare, PLA’s founding members comprise of large and small pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, patient representative organizations, non-profit organizations, technology, and healthcare service providers. PLA has confirmed its mandate as a pre-competition umbrella organization delivering common and interoperable digital solutions in the areas of Product TrustDecentralized Clinical Trials, and Supply Chain Traceability.

  • Products & Project: In Q1 2023, PLA will release the first qualified product, electronic Product Information for implementation by its members.
    In Q2 2023, the Association will continue with the development of new products in its innovation xLab, including of a product digital twin, decentralized identities, and verifiable credentials to facilitate visibility, security, traceability, and trust in all areas of healthcare.
  • Governance & Compliance: PLA will leverage its capability to develop, qualify, launch, and maintain products in healthcare’s highly regulated environment by ensuring continuous adherence to antitrust, intellectual property, data privacy, and Computerized System Assurance guidelines.
  • Ecosystem Engagement & Growth: The association will continue to onboard new members and engage with authorities, trade associations and standards development organizations, ensuring growth and financial viability.
  • Platform Technology & Security: PLA will focus on easing adoption of new solutions with its members and users while maintaining the cybersecurity benefits of its architecture.

The formation of PLA and the endorsement of its mission by diverse members of healthcare is a major milestone. This paves the way for delivery of widely trusted blockchain-based platforms with new open-source healthcare solutions to create value for patients and ecosystem stakeholders. PLA is grateful to its 20 founding members and invites all healthcare related organizations to learn more and engage towards the realization of a trusted Healthcare 4.0.

“Blockchain is a team sport. PLA has started with a diverse and strong team of members with a common vision and who believe in real change. With PLA we have the right vehicle, resources, and roadmap to take patients to a better place in healthcare,” Daniel Fritz, Executive Director, PharmaLedger Association.


PLA is the result of the successful completion of the PharmaLedger research project, a €22 million, 30-member consortium with 12 large pharma companies and 18 public partners, funded under the European Union (EU) and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)’s Innovative Health Initiative.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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UNHCR Urges More Support for Earthquake Survivors in Turkey, Syria

The U.N. high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, said more needs to be done to support survivors in Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of last month’s devastating earthquake as the death toll from the tragedy continues to climb.

Grandi, who concluded a five-day visit to earthquake-devastated areas, said in a statement Monday, “The needs on the ground in both countries are enormous and the response must be better resourced.”

He said the focus needs to be not just on long-term rebuilding projects, but on immediate assistance.

“While it is critical to think about and support longer term efforts, much more humanitarian aid and early recovery resources are needed so that people can begin to rebuild their lives and livelihoods,” he said.

“The level of destruction and devastation is shocking and in many places, it is apocalyptic,” Grandi added.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Monday that the death toll in Turkey had risen to 48,448.

Speaking at a news conference in the hard-hit province of Malatya, Soylu said the toll in Turkey included 6,660 foreign nationals, mostly Syrians. He also said authorities were still trying to identify 1,615 victims.

In neighboring Syria, the quake killed more than 6,000 people.

A U.N. commission Monday blamed both Syria’s government and the international community for not acting fast enough to help people in need in Syria’s rebel-held northwest.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic said there should be an investigation into why it took a week following the earthquake for Syria’s government and the United Nations to agree on opening more border crossings for aid to flow to rebel-held areas.

Commission member Paulo Pinheiro told a news conference in Geneva that there was a “complete failure by the government and the international community including United Nations to rapidly direct urgent lifesaving aid for northwest Syria.”

“Many days were lost without any aid to survivors of the earthquake,” he said.

Source: VOA

SADC calls for action against cholera, climate hazards

(CAJ News) THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) is wary of the ongoing cholera outbreak degenerating into the worst eruption of the water borne disease in a decade.At an urgent meeting in Malawi, ministers of health, water, sanitation and environment from 11 countries proposed an establishment of the Africa Elimination of Cholera Epidemics Coordination Task Force (AECECT) of the African Union (AU).
They requested urgent action to ensure cooperation and collaboration on the preparedness, readiness and response to address the cholera epidemics.The government officials also called for action to curb other waterborne diseases and climate-related public health emergencies.
With 130 705 cholera cases and including 3 052 deaths registered in Africa, to date since 2022, ministers fear the rapidly rising trend could lead to a higher number of cases recorded than that of 2021 the worst year for cholera in the continent in nearly a decade.This as the continent witnesses cholera outbreaks in areas not usually affected by the disease.
total of 13 countries in the WHO African region are currently faced with a cholera outbreak, with a continued risk of cross-border infection.”With robust preparedness, readiness and coordinated responses at border crossings, we believe that it is possible to end cholera outbreaks in Southern Africa and to achieve regional targets in eliminating the disease to guarantee a healthy future to our populations,” said Khumbize Chiponda, Minister of Health in Malawi, said.
Chiponda was speaking at the just-concluded high-level ministerial meeting on “Cholera Epidemics and Climate-related Public Health Emergencies in the capital, Lilongwe.Malawi organized the meeting with support from World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
“This collective call for concerted efforts comes at the right time,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.”We can defeat cholera epidemics and mitigate the impact of climate-related public health emergencies by working together in multi sectoral partnerships, aided by adequate political commitment and investment.
Together, we can bring current cholera outbreaks in the region to an end and save many lives.”A number of Southern African countries responding to the cholera outbreak are also contending with intermittent polio cases.
Malawi, the worst affected by cholera (608 deaths), confirmed its first case in 30 years, in February 2022. CAJ News

Source: CAJ News Agency

Make everyday Women’s Day, technologist says

(CAJ News) THE celebration of women should not be restricted to a single day but every day of the year, an app developer said as the world commemorated International Women’s Day last week.The occasion is celebrated yearly on March 8.
“However, we cannot just focus on that singular day, all month, in fact all year we should be celebrating women and their contribution,” said Audrey Chanakira, Mobile App Developer, Software Services at Green Enterprise Solutions.”As a woman, I have to be honest, I don’t think I need to be celebrated as that makes me think of having a parade thrown for me or balloons and cake.
Certainly not every day,” Chanakira said.She added, To me it is much more about acknowledging women, their contribution, and their important role in society and not just as homemakers, but in all facets of life.
“This includes the technology sector, the sector within which Chanakira works and is thriving.She noted for many years, women have been fighting for equality and while there was a shift, more needs to be done.
“We do not just need to be treated as equals, we need to have our differences acknowledged, embraced, and used to the advantage of the company, organisation, or environment we find ourselves in as women,” Chanakira said.In ICT, she said, more women were entering the field but it is still a rarity.
“We are not quite unicorns, but it’s close. We want, need, and deserve our seat at the table.
Not because of some equality drive, or positive discrimination but because what we bring to the table is essential to an organisation and to the development of society as a whole.”Chanakira lamented that in ICT, women were still underestimated when it comes to their knowledge, expertise and skill.
She raised the need to encourage and make sure that girls and women want to enter the space.”We need to stimulate them at a grass roots level,” she said.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day in 1975, proclaimed as the International Women’s Year. In 1977, the UN General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as an official UN holiday for women’s rights and world peace CAJ News

Source: CAJ News Agency

MTN increases revenues, subscriber base

(CAJ News) MTN has reported group service revenue growth of 14,4 percent to R196,5 billion (US$10,8 billion) for the year ended December 31, 2022.The pan-Africa mobile operator disclosed group data revenue was up by 30,4 percent to R73,7 billion.Group fintech revenue increased by 8,6 percent to R17,3 billion during the period.
Subscribers increased by 6,1 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 289,1 million in MTN’s 19 markets.Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer, said the company delivered a solid operating and financial performance in 2022, as it continued to execute on its Ambition 2025 strategy.
“We are pleased with the business’ continued resilience under challenging global and regional macroeconomic conditions,” Mupita said.In South Africa, operating conditions were significantly impacted by the national grid power availability that worsened in the second half of the year.
lobally, ongoing geopolitical volatility, supply chain constraints driven by China’s zero COVID-19 policy and exchange rate volatility also added pressure to operating margins.”In the context of the ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility, we remain focused on executing our Ambition 2025 strategy,” Mupita said.
CAJ News

Source: CAJ News Agency

Int’l Atomic Energy Agency Expresses Keenness to Enhance Cooperation with Africa in Civilian Nuclear Technology

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed its interest to enhance cooperation with Africa in civilian nuclear technology, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, Hua Liu said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), representatives of nearly 40 African countries including the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA), are participating in the 2023 annual National Liaison Officers meeting here in Addis Ababa.

The annual meeting being held under the theme, “Paradigm Shift,” is aimed at enhancing the technical collaboration between African countries and IAEA.

The 5-day meeting is expected to emphasize the significance of embracing change and innovation to achieve sustainable development goals through nuclear science and technology, it was learned.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, IAEA, Hua Liu said the meeting aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the technical cooperation programme in Africa.

Significant progress has been made in the region in recent years, he said , adding it is essential that Africa continue its efforts to develop and implement a programme of maximum benefit to the countries Socio-economic development.

According to him, IAEA has launched a number of key initiatives such as Rays of Hope, NUTEC Plastics, and the Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC), which are of particular importance to the African region.

The agency will continue to provide support for the new comer countries in nuclear energy, especially in small modular reactor through interregional projects, he vowed.

The programmes that his agency launched is also contributing to global efforts to address climate change.

Growing number of African member states are focusing their attention on nuclear power, research reactors and irradiation technology, he said, adding his agency encourage Africa to take advantage of the support that the Agency offers in these areas.

“IAEA also launched a program aimed at encouraging the next generation of women nuclear professionals by offering scholarships for their master degrees in nuclear topics’, he said.

Speaking at the event, Ethiopian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Dr. Belete Molla, said as a founding member of the IAEA, since its establishment in 1957, my country through the years has enhanced its collaboration with the Agency.

He further stated that Ethiopia is highly committed and strongly supportive to the mandates of the Agency towards nonproliferation, nuclear safety and promoting peaceful applications of Nuclear Science and Technology for sustainable development.

“We have a strong commitment of my government in collaborating and promoting technical cooperation with the Agency in key socio-economic sectors such as agriculture and food security, human health, water resource management, environment, manufacturing industry and power generation and in advancing Nuclear Science and Technology for sustainable development.”

Ethiopia is committed for advancing Nuclear Science and Technology for development including exploring the potential of nuclear power for electricity generation, he said.

According to him, substantive measures are underway to establish the Center for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) through establishing an institute to sustainably manage the sector.

“We are investing in research and development, constructing the necessary infrastructure, and developing policies and programs to support innovative businesses and entrepreneurs in all sectors,” he added.

This meeting will provide a vital platform for exchanging ideas and best practices, fostering new collaborations, and building partnerships, the minister stated.

By working together, we can achieve sustainable development goals, leveraging the power of nuclear science and technology to create a more sustainable future for all, he noted.

Speaking on his behalf, Director for the Division for Africa of the Department of Technical Cooperation, Professor Shaukat Abdulrazak, said our gathering here will help us find ways to share information and means, which help us produce documents and results based management.

The meeting will also help us address together some of the bottlenecks, he added.

Technical cooperation program is a shared responsibility, that IAEA play role, he added.

The National Liaison Officers and AFRA National Coordinators meeting will remain in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will remain open until 17 of March and expected to adopt concrete measures and actions to further improve the planning and formulation of the next Technical Cooperation cycle for 2024-2025.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

IOM Hails Ethiopia’s Effort to Address Challenges of Labor Migration, Human Trafficking

IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Ethiopia, Jian Zhao has lauded the Government of Ethiopia’s encouraging efforts to address irregular migration, human trafficking, and smuggling issues.

He made the remark at the opening of the 4th East and Horn of Africa Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration (RMFM) in Addis Ababa today.

Government representatives from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda are attending the forum.

Technical experts and policymakers will spend the initial four days working in the RMFM’s diverse Technical Working Group that will look at mapping skills gaps and labor shortages, bilateral labor agreements, harmonizing the sending of remittances, and expanding the financial inclusion of migrants.

Pertinent ministers of the member countries will consider ways of protecting the fundamental human, labor, economic, and social rights of migrant workers leaving the region and also migrating within, it was indicated.

The ministers will also seek to look at establishing consensus on regional common approaches and priorities, promoting social dialogue in the formulation and implementation of evidence-based, human rights-based, and gender-sensitive labor migration governance initiatives and frameworks, to foster greater labor mobility.

During the opening session of the meeting, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Ethiopia, Jian Zhao pointed out that the Government of Ethiopia’s encouraging efforts to address irregular migration, human trafficking, and smuggling issues.

According to him, the government is finalizing a national migration policy to address labor migration, human trafficking, and smuggling issues.

The government has also been working with countries concerned to make bilateral arrangements for labor migration, Jian said.

Thus, its efforts to prevent these challenges are encouraging and IOM will continue to work in collaboration with the government to enhance migration governance, he added.

Labor and Skills State Minister Asegid Getachew said the meeting is aimed at protecting the rights and interests of citizens who go for work from the region to various countries in the world.

To do so, procedures, strategy, and policy have been prepared for approval by the ministers, he said.

A document will be approved during the forum to help protect the rights of workers in places where member countries do not have labor attachés and they will discuss working in collaboration to prevent human trafficking.

Ethiopia is working to create over 3 million jobs a year in order to prevent illegal migration and work will be done to legally send citizens to work in various countries, he added.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency