Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

May 8 is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day.

Politics and Policies:

  • US State Department has issued travel warning for Algeria.
  • Marijuana bill passed by Connecticut. The state has legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes (- like cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy), with tight restrictions.
  • Judge rejects law on Planned Parenthood in Texas. It was ruled out by the judge that Texas could not ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state money as there was sufficient evidence that this law of banning Planned Parenthood from participating in the state’s Women’s health program was unconstitutional.
  • More than 100 people are charged by the United States authorities for trying to defraud the federal Medicare health care program for the elderly and disabled of about $452 million.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to the marketers of dietary supplements. These  ‘workout boosters’ contain an ingredient called dimethyamylamine or DMAA, which could increase people’s blood pressure, potentially causing shortness of breath or heart attacks.
  • A new rule approved by Texas board allows doctors to perform stem cell procedures as long as they are done for research and receive approval from an institutional review board. This rule also requires patients signed informed consent forms.
  • A settlement meant to guarantee alternatives to segregation for mentally-ill inmates in Massachusetts prisons has been approved by a federal judge. It will prevent placing mentally ill inmates with disciplinary problems in small isolation cells for up to 23 hours a day.

Programs

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has released their May 2012 Bulletin chronicling innovations in global health, under the theme of ‘eHealth’.
  • With World Bank support, Benn expands decentralized basic services for poor people and empower communities. Basic services include education, health and water, roads and market infrastructure.
  • The International Rescue Committee is launching an emergency response in Mali, where the drought spreading across the Sahel region has been compounded by political instability. The conflict meets a worsening food crisis.
  • The UNICEF has received two donations from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) to provide treatment for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Sahel nutrition crisis in West and Central Africa.
  • A new public health project to reduce maternal and infant mortality in 4 African countries has been inaugurated in Woisso, in Ethiopia. It is funded by the Italian Cooperation and launched in January 2012 by the doctor’s organization with African Cuamm.
  • Red Cross youth use power of music to increase access to health care. They have put together the ‘Humanity Band’, a project aiding the developing music talents of young volunteers of the Banju and Kanifing municipality Red Cross (of Gambia Red Cross Society), fund raising for Red Cross programs and increasing public awareness of disease control and prevention.
  • A UAE- based philanthropic organization, Dubai Cares, has launched Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) program in Ghana reaching over 400,000 beneficiaries.
  • Project HOPE sends UCLA nurse to educate medical staff in Ghana hospital.
  • Ouelessebougou Alliance to host 26th annual dinner auction to raise funds for people of Mali.
  • With World Bank support Mozambique extends Crucial Early Childhood Development Services to 84,000 children in 600 rural communities.
  • India offers $50m credit line, $25m in grant to Seychelles.

Research

  • Global Report says U.S. lags behind 130 other nations in preterm birth rate. The report ‘Born too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth’ ranks the U.S. 131st in the world in terms of its preterm birth rate of 12.0 per 100 live births.
  • A study finds that flash-heating breast milk inactivates HIV which reduces transmission of this virus that causes AIDS to their infants. The technique involves expressing breast milk into a glass jar that is placed in a small pot of water and heated until water boils.
  • A six yearlong study in Rwanda found that funding dedicated to HIV/ AIDS does not undermine funding for other diseases.
  • According to a study, a vast majority of HIV- infected persons in Kenya are unaware of their HIV status, posing a major barrier to HIV prevention, care and treatment efforts.
  • A study shows that mobile phones are transforming the way HIV test results are being transmitted to AIDS patients in Africa.
  • A study shows that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening to detect prostate cancer can be beneficial to younger and at-risk men.
  • According to a Australian research team, elderly people with pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes suffer from an accelerated decline in the brain size and mental capacity in as little as two years.
  • A long term follow-up analysis of participants in the Step-study, an international HIV vaccine trial has confirmed that certain subgroups of male study participants were at higher risk of becoming infected with HIV virus after receiving the experimental vaccine compared to those who received a placebo.
  • A promising result has been reported from a trial of an experimental vaccine that appears to offer complete protection from the most common type of meningococcal disease.
  • An international study led by the University of Sydney and published by the Annals of Neurology has potential to improve the design of clinical trials for the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a disorder which affects the peripheral nervous system.
  • A research study shows that an ingredient in curry (curcumin) boosts bowel cancer treatment.
  • Study shows school-based health centers boost vaccination rates.

Diseases & Disasters

  • A tornado has hit the capital city of Japan this Sunday killing one person and injuring atleast 46 other people.
  • Death toll from Kenya flash flood rises to 50. According to a relief agency the number of flash flood fatalities will still continue to rise due to heavy rains that have led to flash floods in several parts of the country.

 

 

 

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