Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • April 7th is celebrated every year as World Health Day to mark the founding anniversary of World Health Organization (WHO).

Politics and Policies:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against Japanese weight loss pills. The product contains a suspected cancer-causing agent – Phenolphthalein.
  • Indonesia has won a tobacco dispute with the United States after the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in its favor saying that the US ban on clove cigarettes was discriminatory.
  • The 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Kampala, Uganda, adopts Resolution on “Access to Health as Basic Right”.
  • World politicians meeting in the capital of Uganda, Kampala, have agreed on the need to repeal laws discriminating against HIV/AIDS which they say have contributed to an increase in the rate of new infections.
  • Dharamsala (in India) based Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has launched a Medicare system for Tibetans in Exile.
  • The Department of Health (DH) of Hong Kong has appealed the public not to buy or consume an oral product called “Ling Zhi She Xiang Tong Mai Dan”.
  • The Chilean Senate has rejected three bills that would have eased the country’s absolute ban on abortions.

Programs

  • An emergency funding of $26 million has been authorized by President Barack Obama to the United Nations High Commissioner for the Sudanese refugees. This will help to respond to the crisis of health, water and food.
  • Bill Gates- Backed Alliance prepares to fight cervical cancer in the developing world. This program is planned to protect 20 million women in thirty countries by the end of decade.
  • Palmcroft Church of Arizona is organizing a campaign to raise thousands of dollars to bring clean water to the poorest of poor in Haiti and Ethiopia.
  • United States Fund for UNICEF President and CEO, Ceryl Stern joins Royal delegation to UNICEF emergency center.
  • The Kenya Aids Vaccination Initiative (KAVI) is collaborating with Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa and Gambia to carry out its research to develop biological marker for understanding the diseases among the people in Africa.
  • The Arab bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has signed loan agreements worth US$ 10 million to improve health services and expanding its coverage in West African region.
  • A meeting organized by the interest groups together for a Stakeholders Consultation on Tuberculosis in the mining sector under the auspices of the South African Development Community (SADC), with the World Bank support.
  • The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRF) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will together begin US$ 10.8 million health care program that will focus on maternal and child health in fifty nine villages in Burundi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
  • The HIV Early Infant Diagnosis Project funded by the Clinton Foundation and Mozambique’s Ministry of Health has saved an estimated 20,000 babies from infection in the first six months of its launch. Sequoia Technology and Telit Wireless Solutions- providers of technology for this project- has developed a way for the rural medical clinics in Africa to wirelessly receive HIV test results of the expectant mothers within days of testing.
  • The UK government is planning to develop a smartphone natural disaster application, to help victims of flood, famines and earthquake.
  • The first Czech clinic of addictology, focused on the treatment and prevention of alcohol and illegal drug addictions and research into them was opened in Prague.

Research

  • Researchers say that fish along the Orange County coast may have been affected by radioactivity that fell in California in the days after Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. They also say that small levels of radioactive isotope have accumulated in seaweed along the local shoreline.
  • A research suggests link between an injectable form of progestin-only birth control and an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • A universal cancer vaccine has been developed by a group of researchers. The early clinical trial has shown that it triggers an immune response and targets a molecule found in 90% of all cancers.
  • A remedy consisting of phytonutrients extracted from eggplant have been confirmed to treat and basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.
  • A study on females in China revealed that the vegetables like mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, cauliflower and green cabbage are protective against breast cancer.
  • According to a study malaria stain resistant to the most effective drug used to treat the disease has spread along the Thai-Myanmar border. If ways are not found to contain it, it might reach India and Africa.
  • According to a recent survey Delhi (in India) has the highest number of corporate employees afflicted with insomnia due to high stress level and demanding schedules in offices. This city is followed by Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai.
  • Type 2 diabetes rising sharply in China. About 30 percent increase in cases in only seven years.
  • Data from 2010 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) shows that 27.1% of obese people above the age of eighteen years with BMI greater than 27.The same data shows obesity among kids below five years olds has increased to 14% from 11% in 2007.
  • Scientists from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and the National Cancer Center Singapore have identified more than 600 genes that are mutated in stomach cancer, the second most lethal cancer in the world.
  • The blood-pressure medication prazosin was found to be an effective treatment to curb nightmares related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • A study shows that most of the fat people think they are not fat.
  • Researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of hypnotism in reducing severe symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • A new study suggests a link between obesity during pregnancy and autism.
  • The dengue virus may make mosquitoes even thirstier for human blood according to a study conducted at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • According to a new study, waist size helps to predict heart disease risk in teenagers.

Diseases & Disasters

  • The eastern horn of Africa is in famine crisis. About 750,000 people are at a risk of death.
  • H1N1 was detected in a Hong Kong’s slaughter house during regular influenza virus surveillance for pigs.
  • Avalanche in Siachen glacier region claims life of people in India and Pakistan.
  • Nine miners trapped in collapsed mine in Peru.

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