Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

The Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act might have failed, but threats to health coverage continue. Despite the Senate’s plans for bipartisan hearings in September on ways to improve the individual insurance market, President Trump has created uncertainty over whether the government will continue providing subsidies that help hard-working American families afford coverage.

Programs, Grants & Awards

The National Institutes of Health has renewed its support for University of Washington (UW) as a leader in developing the next generation of physicians, veterinarians, dentists, and scientists, trained in global health with a $4.5 million grant to extend the Northern Pacific Fogarty Global Health Fellows (NPGH) training program for the next five years (2017–2022).

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed former congressman Mark Green as President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development at a time the administration is proposing cuts in foreign aid and a reorganization of the agency.

The 3rd Coordination Conference for the Zoonotic Diseases Action Package (ZDAP) will be held in Da Nang, Vietnam on August 28-30.

Research

According to a series of new reports while number of deaths due to violence in the middle east grew by 850% between 1990 and 2015, incidence and death rates of chronic diseases also rose sharply.

While the utilization of rapid diagnostic tests for malaria resulted in a decrease in the number of prescriptions for artemisinin-based combination therapies, the number of antibiotics prescriptions increased.

Diseases & Disasters

Fifteen years after the declaration that leprosy has been eliminated, experts are now warning that every year, millions of new leprosy cases are going undiagnosed and untreated.

In response to the ongoing food crisis in East Africa, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced more than $169 million in funding on Thursday for humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia and Kenya. The majority of the funds — approximately $137 million — will go to Ethiopia.

When cases of Ebola were detected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May, local officials moved swiftly and global resources were rushed to help them. By the time the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak over on July 2, only four people died, four more had survived the disease, and the outbreak had been contained in a remote region of the country.

The UK has pledged to donate £100m to a global bid to eradicate polio by 2020.

More than a million children already suffering from acute malnutrition are at risk from a cholera outbreak sweeping war-torn Yemen, charity Save the Children warned Wednesday.

Research suggests that the number of blind people across the world is set to triple within the next four decades.

Only six countries have taken steps to evaluate their abilities to withstand a global pandemic, according to a report sponsored by the World Bank.

Three additional human infections with novel influenza A viruses were detected in Ohio during week 31. Three persons, all attendees at the same agricultural fair, were infected with influenza A (H3N2) variant (H3N2v) viruses.

Technology

An inexpensive mobile device with wearable cuffs has been developed by a team from ETH, Zürich shows promise for monitoring dehydration in kids.

The Pratt Pouch, a small ketchup packet-like pouch of antiretroviral drugs developed in 2008 that has saved thousands of lives in Ecuador, Zambia and Tanzania is now expanding to Uganda.

A new Whatsapp-based instant messaging tool has been developed by the “WHO and its partners to detect, verify and log the devastating consequences of such attacks“.

Environmental Health

There is an effort to eradicate the goat plague virus, a disease that costs “between $1.5 and $2 billion in losses annually to 330 million of the world’s poorest people.

A new large-scale review has mapped the spread and changes in the range of spread of 100 infectious diseases due to climate change.

Monsanto produced and sold toxic chemicals known as Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) years after it learned about the health and environmental hazards of PCBs.

Equity & Disparities

Troubling signs of racism in the healthcare system as new report shows evidence of Aboriginal women being coerced into tubal ligation in and around Saskatoon, Canada.

A new study analyses how distinctive traits of African cities and economies are increasing vulnerability and in many cases perpetuating poverty and marginalization.

Affordable housing versus green space has become a point of contention for London’s oldest allotment.

With already high unemployment rates, informal economy in sub-Saharan African countries will not be enough to handle the projected workforce expansion in Africa.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Gestational diabetes rate in India is at 26.3%, the highest in the world and it poses a significant risk to the health of the mother and the fetus.

Young women in their late teens or early twenties in Kashmir are being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Experts believe that Kashmiri women are genetically predisposed but early detection can help with treatment.

After decades of shortages of trained people to help in deliveries, the role of midwives has been growing in recent years in Bolivia, which joined international efforts to improve the skills of midwives and bring them into closer contact with the medical community.

There is debate whether the focus on skilled birth attendants (a measure of progress in the Sustainable Development Goals) is distracting countries with high maternal mortality rates from fundamental health systems reforms.

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