Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

William “Bill” Steiger, a global health official under former President George W. Bush who crossed swords with many scientists, is now advising President Donald Trump.

After the Trump’s administration submitted a budget to cut foreign aid, the world’s wealthiest man and co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates met with President Donald Trump to discuss progress in programs for global health and development as well as domestic education.

In President Trump’s proposed budget, there’s a $54 billion bump in military spending. U.S. foreign aid would be cut by 28 percent. Global health spending beyond AIDS, malaria and vaccines will suffer.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued a clinical practice guideline on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for the prevention of cervical cancer. This is the first guideline in primary prevention of cervical cancer that is tailored to multiple regions of the world with different levels of socio-economic and structural resource settings, offering evidence-based guidance to healthcare providers worldwide.

Programs, Grants & Awards

March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day.  The need to receive proper education, to get a job, to live with independence, to catch up with friends, to play sport, to fully exercise our rights as equal citizens are important aspects of life for each of us and needs that no one would dream of defining as “special”. Yet for people with Down syndrome, the label of “special needs” is often used to describe them and their needs.

The Golisano Foundation and Special Olympics, the largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), honored the Beijing Tongren Eye Hospital, Capital Medical University in Beijing, China for coordinating medical professionals throughout China and ensuring sustainable eye health and treatment access are available to Special Olympics athletes.

Research

Assess the prevalance of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among patients in rural Lesotho who are taking first-line anti-retroviral therapy (ART) containing either zidovudine or tenofovir disoproxil.

In this analysis, we examine the effect of wages on obesity by constructing pseudo-panels to conduct a dynamic estimation of Grossman’s human capital model. The results indicate that wages have an increasing effect on obesity status.

To examine county-level geographic variation in treatment admissions among opioid treatment programs (OTPs) that accept Medicaid in the continental United States.

We analyze the evolution of mortality-based health indicators in 27 European countries before and after the start of the Great Recession. We find that in the countries where the crisis has been particularly severe, mortality reductions in 2007–2010 were considerably bigger than in 2004–2007.

Over the next 20 years, there will be 49 million new cases of HIV, a mathematical model has indicated.  This number, however, could be drastically reduced if current interventions are acted upon and a vaccine is introduced in the next four years.

Diseases & Disasters

A small but growing number of pain doctors and addiction specialists are overseeing the use of marijuana as a substitute for more potent and dangerous drugs. Dr. Mark Wallace, chairman of the division of pain medicine in the department of anesthesia at the University of California, San Diego, said over the last five years he has used marijuana to help several hundred patients transition off opiates.

People who wake at night with an urge to go to the bathroom may need to cut back on salt in their diets, doctors from Japan are suggesting.

Technology

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Holmusk, a digital health and data analytics company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently to explore collaborations for improving healthcare delivery in the region.

A new diagnostic tool to test for up to 7 micronutrients using a single serum sample has been developed by Quansys in collaboration with PATH. This multiplex tool can help gather national data on micronutrient status and use these data to implement appropriate interventions.

Environmental Health

Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, has the potential to affect drinking water resources in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency announced in December.

Equity & Disparities

Health and health care disparities, which are differences between groups in their health status and their ability to obtain care, remain a persistent issue in the United States. This brief describes health and healthcare disparities today, highlights recent advancements in reducing disparities under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and discusses how the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and proposed reductions in discretionary funding may affect ongoing efforts to address disparities.

Niger’s population is set to double in about 17 years and high birth rates have contributed to this population growth. Already 80% of Nigeriens live in poverty and there is growing concern that such population expansions could lead to famines, political instability and violence in this landlocked nation.

The UN has warned that due to climate change about one in four children will be living in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040.

Hundreds of thousands of people in India could be left without essential government services and benefits – including free school meals and uniforms, food subsidies and pensions – under new rules that make access to more than three dozen state-funded schemes conditional on showing identification.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

China has achieved a substantial reduction in maternal mortality over the past three decades, from 88.8 deaths per 100 000 live births in 1990 to 21.7 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2014, down by 75.6%. The Article by Yanqiu Gao and colleagues in The Lancet Global Health is a valuable and welcome opportunity to present progress and discuss how maternal health can be improved in developing countries.

An UNFPA representative has urged Nigeria to invest more in maternal health since it has the potential to save Nigeria nearly $1.5 billion annually.

What happens when both mothers and newborns weigh significantly more than they did just several decades ago? The question occupies one of the most active areas of obesity research.

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