Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Congress was back in session on Tuesday, and leaders of both houses said their first order of business will be to repeal Obamacare.

On Dec. 18, The New York Times reported the passing of Halfdan Mahler, who led the World Health Organization from 1973 to 1988. He and other colleagues from around the world provided leadership at an International Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978 in Alma-Ata, U.S.S.R. (now Almaty, Kazakhstan) that codified the declaration that “health, which is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, is a fundamental human right.”

Programs, Grants & Awards

Four graduate-level students enrolled in Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy are embarking on a groundbreaking internship this spring that not only will expose them to global health issues.  The four students headed to either the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic or the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, marks the first study abroad program in the college to include public health graduate students.

On 24th November we had the pleasure to meet the winning team of the “Global Health Case Challenge 2016 on Antibiotic Resistance.” This initiative results from the collaboration between the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, the EIT Health Campus programme, and the University of Copenhagen.

The Task Force for Global Health has announced gifts from the Robert W. Woodruff and Conrad N. Hilton foundations in support of a capital campaign for a new headquarters building in Decatur, Georgia.

For the fourth year running, Bill Gates has taken part in Reddit’s Secret Santa gift exchange — a small but public addition to the tens of billions already given away by the world’s biggest philanthropist.  The billionaires have given away over $29 billion — more money than anyone in the history of humanity — more than $8  billion of which was dedicated to improving global health.

Research

Creating hospital teams devoted to treating pregnant women who have sickle cell disease reduced death rates for those women by almost 90 percent, a study at a major hospital in Ghana showed.

Researchers have found a strong association between El Niño-Southern Oscillation conditions in the Pacific to observed weather and dengue epidemics in Sri Lanka.

Effect of a multicomponent behavioral intervention in adults impaired by psychological distress in a conflict affected area of Pakistan.

The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of published data and available information on the malaria situation in the Republic of Congo and to identify gaps in knowledge in order to contribute in research-based solutions adapted for the country.

Apple cider vinegar seems to help regulate blood sugar. A study published in Diabetes Care looked at men and women with type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that when the participants downed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed with a snack (one ounce of cheese), they had lower blood sugar levels the next morning.

Over the last few decades, an age-old infectious disease has been re-emerging globally: syphilis. Using techniques to analyze low levels of DNA, an international research team has now shown that all syphilis strains from modern patient samples share a common ancestor from the 1700s.

Diseases & Disasters

Nationwide, more than 52,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2015 in the US. Of those deaths, 33,000 involved opioids such as prescription pain relievers or heroin, according to data released in December by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eating large amounts of cured meats was linked to worse symptoms among asthma sufferers, a French study found.

Mosquitoes kill an estimated 700,000 people a year. If infected with viruses that cause diseases like chikungunya, dengue and Zika, mosquitos can transmit them to humans in one bite. Researchers have discovered that mosquitoes artificially infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia do not transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika as easily.

Shanghai’s health authority has confirmed a new human case of infection by the H7N9 strain of avian influenza, the state-owned news agency Xinhua said on Friday.

The eastern Chinese city of Wuxi will suspend poultry trade from Thursday amid fears about bird flu, becoming the second city in Jiangsu province to halt live poultry markets, it said.

In a study published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, a centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists and used to effectively treat malaria, has been found to potentially aid in the treatment of tuberculosis and may slow the evolution of drug resistance.

Technology

Drugs recently approved around the world to fight cancer increased patient’s overall survival, but benefits vary depending on the drug, a new study shows.

Testing in humans has begun for the Zika Purified Inactivated Virus (ZPIV) vaccine, 1 of 3 candidate vaccine platforms that protected monkeys against the virus in studies conducted earlier this year.

Founded in 2011, Health eVillages focuses on enabling safe and efficient medical care in the most challenging clinical environments through mobile healthcare technology.

VIA Global Health connects healthcare equipment suppliers with distributors around the world to make it easier for underserved regions to access the quality products.  

The world now has a potent weapon against Ebola: a vaccine that brings outbreaks to a screeching halt, scientists report Thursday in The Lancet.  A vaccine with 100% efficacy?

Environmental Health

Fossil fuels represent a two-pronged attack on the health of children, a leading health scientist has warned. To foster health and well-being in future generations, society needs to dramatically decrease dependence on dirty energy.

In September, China — the world’s largest producer of carbon emissions — ratified the Paris Agreement, committing itself to reducing emissions by over 60 percent per unit of gross domestic product by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

To limit warming, nations will also likely need to physically remove carbon from the atmosphere.  And to do that, they will have to deploy “negative emissions technology”— techniques that scrub CO2 out of the air.

Equity & Disparities

The theme for National Minority Health Month 2017 is Bridging Health Equity Across Communities. Throughout April, OMH will join with our partners in raising awareness about efforts across health, education, justice, housing, transportation, and employment sectors to address the factors known as the social determinants of health.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Children in England consume half their recommended maximum daily intake of sugar at breakfast, and by the end of the day have had more than three times the healthy limit, according to research from Public Health England (PHE).

Applying inexpensive petroleum jelly to a new baby daily for the first six months of life may reduce the risk that infant will develop eczema, which can be a lifelong torment, according to a new analysis.

A Dutch medical institution has launched an investigation after discovering that up to 26 women’s eggs may have been fertilized by the wrong sperm at its IVF laboratory.

Diet composition around the time of pregnancy may influence whether her offspring become obese, according to a new study using animal models.

Talking publicly about women’s menstruation has long been a taboo. But in 2016 the world made big strides over the squeamishness.

Women who took fish oil during the last three months of pregnancy significantly lowered the risk that their children would develop asthma, a study in Denmark has found.

The family of an infant boy who was critically ill is celebrating after he received a vital liver transplant in under an hour, instead of waiting weeks, months or years.

 

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