BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Archive for January, 2021

As a life threatening pandemic, Covid-19 remains one of the most talked about news in the world today with updates reported on a daily basis. In addition to all the noise about the vaccine, there’s more recently, a buzz about the newest strain of the virus that causes COVID-19. This strain is said to have  originated in the UK sometime in September, 2020, and has since spread to the U.S., Canada and some other countries. Researchers  are still gathering facts and insight on this new variant, in attempt to answer the following questions:

  • How different is it from the other strain
  • Is it more dangerous
  • Does it need further precautions
  • Does it infect children more easily than previous strain
  • Will the current vaccine be effective against it

The questions go on and on, however, emergence of  new strains of the Covid-19 virus was not at all a surprise to scientists. In fact, it is expected given the nature and biology of viruses; In the human body, viruses attach to cells, penetrate them, and make copies of their RNA, which helps them spread. In this process, errors randomly occur, causing changes in the viral RNA. These changes are called mutations, and will result in a new strain of virus. Currently, the seven types of corona viruses that infect humans are divided into four sub-groupings, called alpha, beta, gamma, and delta:

  • 229E (alpha)
  • NL63 (alpha)
  • OC43 (beta)
  • HKU1 (beta
  • MERS-CoV, a beta virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
  • SARS-CoV, a beta virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  • SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19

Since the inception of the pandemic, there have been multiple variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. These variants or strains are different from the strain first seen in China. New strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are detected on a weekly basis, however, there isn’t enough research to confirm that these new strains are more virulent or contagious. The newest strain (B117) was detected in southeastern England in September 2020 and by December, it became the most common cause of infection, accounting for about 60% of new  cases. New strains were also seen in Denmark, The Netherlands, and other European countries. Additionally,  another variant was detected in Africa, specifically Nigeria and South Africa (1.351). In Brazil, a variant called P.1 which contains a set of mutations that may affect its ability to be recognized by antibodies, was identified. It is  worthy of note that most of the genetic changes in these viruses have no significance or functionality. However, the newest strain-, B117, appears to spread up to 70%  more easily than previous strains of COVID-19.

According to current research, there is no evidence that the newer strains infect children more easily neither is there reason to suggest that vaccines would not work against new strains. However, scientists and public health experts are intensifying research and studying these variants  to ensure that laboratory tests and vaccines remain effective. More so, CDC, in collaboration with other public health agencies, is closely monitoring the situation and working to detect emerging variants.

Positive Social Change refers to favourable changes in human interactions and relationships that transform cultural and social institutions. Positive social change  helps to improve human and social conditions and also promotes the advancement of the society. Changes occur at various levels, including individuals, families, communities, organizations, and governments, and are driven by ideas and actions with real-world implications and practical consequences. These changes are brought about in many different ways including education, promotion, evolution, revolution, technology, environmental factors and changes in population dynamics. Social change is a necessity which affects all aspects of life such as health, economy and the quality of life in general.

BlessWorld Foundation, as a non-profit organization, works tirelessly to affect the world positively through health. As a matter of fact, the importance of health promotion in our pandemic-stricken world cannot be overemphasized. Additionally, there can rarely be any positivity, growth or prosperity without good health. Consequently, BlessWorld foundation contributes, and plans to continue contributing to positive social change in a number of ways.

Firstly, BlessWorld Foundation already provides a hub of accurate and up-to-date information and different types of health and health related articles through its monthly blog. By providing information and news, BlessWorld aims to equip and empower individuals and communities with the knowledge needed to stay healthy, navigate health issues and improve their lives. Topics of these articles are  research-based and carefully chosen to ensure relevance as well as reflect current health issues and trends. The blog, is available on our website and accessible to everyone. In addition to this, BlessWorld plans to produce short newsletters and pamphlets that address health misconceptions and promote healthy lifestyles. With reference to COVID-19, pamphlets showing recent news and updates about the virus as well as how to stay protected will be produced.

Secondly, engaging and forming partnerships with grassroots, communities and other organizations is a significant step towards positive social change. A tree cannot make a forest, therefore, building an engaged community remains the best way to penetrate and connect with real people. BlessWorld plans to achieve this by providing training and workshop sessions that teach people about health and its determinants. These sessions may also feature edutainment programs offered by our partner, KingsPrimeTV. More so, short surveys to understand the challenges and needs of these communities will be carried out during trainings in order to provide effective solutions. Furthermore, community engagement provides a platform for people who are interested and passionate about service to volunteer and help out. Volunteers are always  important in Charities due to limited availability of funds and resources.

Finally, the place and position of raising funds in non-profit organizations is second to none. For any charity organization to achieve its aims and create global positive social change, there must be funds. Money is essential to most services; staff stipends, printing costs, fee for researchers, trainers and workshop teachers are all places money goes into. BlessWorld foundation will actively participate in fundraising through mutually beneficial ways by presenting some form of gifts to donors in exchange for their donations. More so, fund raising is beneficial to people and communities as many find fulfillment in the opportunity to give back.