Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Until last week, Congress had appropriated exactly zero dollars in emergency funding to support Zika prevention, public education, and reproductive health services, leaving women to bear the burden.

Thai authorities have decided that pregnant women infected with Zika virus can undergo abortion without legal consequences.

Venezuela has become dangerous for the healthy, it is now deadly for those who fall ill.
One in three people admitted to public hospitals last year died, the government reports.

The Census Bureau released a report last week showing continued improvements in the uninsured rate between 2014 and 2015 following the implementation of the major coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Boosting developing nations’ access to medical advances is top of the agenda at Berlin’s World Health Summit, but will it improve healthcare for the poorest?

Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, has been appointed co-chair of the consensus committee on global health that will advise the next presidential administration.

It’s gratifying when global health research affects policy. This was the case when Peru’s federal government declared a state of emergency after the publication of a report by DGHI researchers showing the distressing impact of gold mining on the health of people living downriver from mines in the Peruvian Amazon.

Programs, Grants and Awards

The Health Scholars Program  provides outstanding Princeton students with funding for travel and research to pursue global health-related internships and senior thesis research, both in the US and abroad. This competitive program, administered by the Center for Health and Wellbeing, is open to students from all departments.

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

Research

Researchers have completed the most up-to-date analysis on the state of the world’s health to equip governments and donors with evidence to identify national health challenges and priorities for intervention.

In this pilot study, we found that a colorimetric system using AuNPs and MSP10 DNA detection in urine can provide fast, easy, and inexpensive identification of P. Vivax.

Cutaneous anthrax, a disease associated with biological terrorism in western countries, is common and underreported in the rural areas of Africa .It can be lethal in some cases, especially when the oropharyngeal area is affected after ingesting meat from contaminated sources.

The most up-to-date analysis of the world’s health shows that while life expectancy has increased, about 7 in 10 deaths are due to non-communicable diseases. You can access these articles here.

Researchers have sequenced the full-length genome of a Zika virus taken from a patient in Brazil and identified a virus-derived molecule that inhibits part of the infected person’s immune system.

We use national population-based survey data to quantify diabetes prevalence and met and unmet need for diabetes diagnosis and care in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We further estimate demographic and economic gradients of met need for diabetes diagnosis and care.

Diseases & Disasters

Zika infections are expected to continue rising in the Asia-Pacific region, where authorities are increasing surveillance, preparing responses to complications and collaborating on information about the disease, the World Health Organization said Monday.

Every few years, a group of federal agencies publishes a raft of data on every conceivable subject affecting older people.  At every age, the report shows, older men are far more likely to be married than older women.

It’s dangerous to be a doctor in Afghanistan.  This is what the staff deal with most days at a hospital in the country’s north-west: physical attacks by patients’ relatives; gun-wielding soldiers inside the wards; and verbal assaults and threats of bodily harm against doctors and nurses who are only trying to help.

Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon is capturing some of its tens of thousands of stray dogs, using blowpipes to sedate them for neutering and vaccinations to combat a rabies epidemic.

After Hurricane Matthew slashed through the impoverished nation of Haiti on Tuesday, leaving death and destruction its wake, the country may be facing another deadly crisis:  a surge in cholera.

Life expectancy has increased by 10 years across the globe in the past 35 years, thanks in part to efforts to treat infectious diseases such as AIDS and malaria, but diet, obesity and drug use are now major causes of death and disability while too many women still die in childbirth, data reveals.

In 2007, a World Health Organization committee said shift work “probably” had a link to breast cancer, based on studies of animals and people.  But this new work by leading UK cancer experts looked at data on 1.4 million women and found there was no association with night shift work.

The Region of the Americas is the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death. This achievement culminates a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas.

A 10th of children have a “monkey-like” immune system that stops them developing AIDS, a study suggests.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke and is responsible for 9.4 million largely preventable deaths worldwide – more than tobacco. Thirty three percent of adults in Barbados have high blood pressure, and they develop it for largely the same reasons as people in other developing countries: not getting enough exercise and eating an unhealthy diet.

Those who are malnourished are set to be, by far, the biggest casualties of Yemen’s war. More than 6,000 people have been killed in the bombing and fighting.

International aid agencies have called for millions of dollars of funding for an urgent relief effort in North Korea after floods in the country’s remote north-east in August left 70,000 people homeless and 600,000 others in need of humanitarian assistance, including tens of thousands of children.

With more than 65 million people displaced globally – the most there have been since World War II – the global refugee crisis has captured the attention of aid groups and political leaders worldwide.

Technology

As drones quickly pick up momentum around the world in everything from military strikes to pizza delivery, Africa, the continent with some of the most entrenched humanitarian crises, hopes the technology will bring progress.

Researchers at McMaster University and two American universities have taken another step closer to developing a much more effective, “one-punch” universal flu vaccine.

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropic leader sets out an agenda of global issues that he thinks whoever wins the presidential election should address.

In 2014, the Senegal Ministry of Health and Social Action (MOHSA) began the development of a national eHealth strategy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced progress on several fronts to develop vaccines that protect against Zika and yellow fever viruses.

Environmental Health

According a new interactive air quality map released by the WHO, nearly 92% of the world’s population lives in areas where outdoor air quality do not meet WHO standards.

While members from the least developed countries applauded the ratification of the Paris deal, they have urged that financial support be made available swiftly in order to start implementing their plans to curb emissions.

The Quest CCS (carbon capture and storage) project near Edmonton announced last week that it successfully stored one million tonnes of carbon dioxide deep underground in its first year of operation. That’s equal to the emissions from about 250,000 cars.

Equity & Disparities

A new measure of development from the Global Burden of Disease study, called the Socio-demographic Index (SDI) aims to use a finer yardstick of development to accurately reflect the reality among disenfranchised populations.

A quarter of a billion children across the globe may not achieve their full potential because of extreme poverty and stunting, says a series of papers published in The Lancet.

New research published in the journal Urology reveals that African-American and Hispanic men in the US were less likely to receive treatment for prostate cancer. The study was based on 327,641 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancers reported to the SEER program between 2004 and 2011.

In order to achieve the education goals put forth in the SDGs by 2030, the international community needs to recruit and train 69 million teachers. South Africa and South Asia are most affected by the shortage of well trained teachers.

When it comes to health, there are many factors that influence how long and how well people will live, from the quality of their education to the cleanliness of their environment. But of all social determinants of health, research shows there is one that is perhaps the most influential: income.

Dr. Jim Kim, the president of the World Bank and one of the founders of Partners in Health, recently gave a talk about changing the focus of the World Bank, and cited two leading principles: “A preferential option for the poor and evidence-based medicine.” I could not agree more, and I suspect many in global health are guided by a similar set of values.

The 2016 Lancet Advancing Early Childhood Development series updates the science on various aspects of early childhood including epigenetic effects of adverse childhood experiences on brain development and cognition. The series also focuses on strategies for implementation of early childhood programs at scale.

The global news round up was prepared by the communications team.

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