Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • House rejects bill to ban sex-selective abortions. It was a measure that sought to impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions on women who are trying to select the gender of their offspring.
  • The Agriculture department (US) has announced that it would expand testing for E.coli in raw beef trimmings.
  • California announces intent to award four medi-cal contracts to health net of California subsidiary.
  • Wolk’s flu bill passes Senate moves to assembly. This bill would require hospitals and clinics to reach a 90% vaccination rate among their health-care workers by 2015 or adopt masking requirement for those who decline flu shots.
  • Federal disability law does not cover medical marijuana patients. A panel of the appeals court threw out the patient’s lawsuit, which had charged that some California cities were violating the ADA by shuttering medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Medical marijuana is legal in Connecticut. A law has been signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy approving its use, a measure that includes strict regulations in an attempt to any avoid problems. Qualifying patients and their primary caregivers would be able to possess a combined one-month supply of marijuana.
  • A ban that would impose a 16 ounce limit on any sugary bottled or fountain drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces in New city restaurants, delis and movie theaters was proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Programs:

  • World Health Organization (WHO) award for reproductive health was given out at the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva.  It was awarded to four countries- Rwanda, Nepal, Malawi, Ethiopia and Yemen.
  • Norway will provide up to NOK 500 million over a five year period for health in developing countries, which will be used to help women and babies through childbirth and the critical first 24 hours after delivery.
  • The first pilot waste water treatment plant with integrated wood production opened in Mongolia. It is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Model region Mongolia (MoMo) project.

 Research

  • According to a recent study, people suffering from pneumonia with high blood sugar level are at a greater risk of death. The team found that those with diabetes had highest risk (14%) followed by those with hyperglycemia not diabetes (10%) and those without diabetes and normal glucose levels had lowest rates (3%).
  • In a recent study, researchers found that taking common painkillers might reduce chances of getting skin cancer.
  • Consumption of oil rich Mediterranean foods such as fish and sea food helps to improve physical and mental well-being.
  • Global research team yields new health insights into different types of trans fats. The findings strengthen the evidence that unlike industrial Trans fats, natural trans fats produced by ruminant animals are not harmful and have an health enhancing potential.
  • Soon a breath test will help to detect deadly tuberculosis bacteria in 6 minutes. However the doctors say that it cannot replace the sputum test which will remain the gold standard.
  • Researchers from Melbourne’s Burnet Institute said that reducing the prevalence of the disease among the drug users could also lead to a drop in infections across the wider populations.
  • Breakthrough drug may extend life of women suffering from deadly breast cancer. According to the daily mail newspaper it could be available in Britain within a year if it passes regulatory checks.
  • According to a research released last week, a drug already approved for prostate cancer has been shown to slow the spread of advance forms of this disease. In the patients treated with drug, the cancer did not worsen for 16 months as compared to 8.3 months in the group that did not receive this drug.
  • Premature babies are 4.5 times more likely to suffer from severe mental health problems. The study reveals that those born after just seven months in the womb or earlier are at highest risk compared with full-term babies.
  • According to a recent study a link between poor asthma control and eczema was seen among Brazilian urban children.
  • A study indicates that allergies (specifically allergies to plants, grass and trees) are linked to higher cancer risk. The researchers say that these allergies cause inflammation which may lead to an overactive immune system- and that over activity can in turn lead to blood cancer.

Diseases & Disasters

  • 6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes Panama’s pacific coast. There are no reports of injuries or deaths and no tsunami is expected.
  • A strong earth tremor of 5.1 magnitude hit northern Italy on Sunday. This area was struck by the deadly quakes in the last two weeks.
  • Measles outbreak in west Cork concerns Irish health officials. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is advising patients to vaccinate their children against viral disease.
  • Tuberculosis infected beef sold in Edo (Benin). On inspection it was seen that it has nodular lesions which enveloped on the surface of the various organs of the slaughtered cow.
  • A new strain of flu is likely to spread through Australia. It is likely to replace swine flu that emerged in 2009. Flu shots are available for people aged 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic disease as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Bird flu found in 21 poultry farms out of 85 in Bangladesh this year.
  • Hong Kong officials have confirmed H5N1 strain of avian influenza. They have confirmed it being the first human case of bird flu since November 2010 in Hong Kong.
  • Greek crisis spurs epidemic of suicides and mental illness.
  • New Mexico man is the first human plague case in the U.S. this year. The department of health press release has confirmed that the man is infected with Yersinia pestis.

 

 

 

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