Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

In a world with no dearth of global challenges or domestic health issues to address, why should countries, in particular bilateral donor countries, care about preventing epidemic threats in other countries?  The moral argument is clear-cut: Epidemics cost lives—in some countries, much more than others.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Thursday it will scrap Obama-era rules governing coal ash disposal. The changes would provide companies with annual compliance cost savings of up to $100 million, but environmentalists warn that doing away with the regulations risks poisoning clean drinking water for millions of Americans and pollute already-endangered ecosystems.

Programs, Grants & Awards

Malawi is the first country in Africa to use the newly approved typhoid vaccine. About 24,000 children are set to take part in the clinical trials to test efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the vaccine.

The 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research will be held in Liverpool, UK from October 8-12.

The Dartmouth Institute’s accelerated on-campus Master of Public Health program is designed to help you develop or advance your career while gaining a rigorous understanding of: Epidemiology and biostatistics, decision analysis, improvement and innovation in health systems, healthcare finance and payment systems and shared decision-making.

Research

More than half of gun owners do not safely store all their guns, according to a new survey of 1,444 U.S. gun owners conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In the present study we described the protein level of C1q production and its gene expression in the peripheral blood and skin biopsies in patients with ENL reaction and lepromatous leprosy (LL) patient controls before and after treatment.

Cholera remains a persistent health problem in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide. Cholera can be controlled through appropriate water and sanitation, or by oral cholera vaccination, which provides transient (∼3 years) protection, although vaccine supplies remain scarce. We aimed to map cholera burden in sub-Saharan Africa and assess how geographical targeting could lead to more efficient interventions.

Crifasi, 34, is part of what she calls “the large moderate swath that is invisible”: those who believe the Second Amendment protects citizens’ right to have a firearm in their home, but also believe that right should be regulated by effective, evidence-based gun policy.

Diseases & Disasters

For a long time, researchers have found it difficult to explain exactly what the Obesity Paradox is, dumbfounded by the notion that putting on excess weight somehow adds extra years to one’s life. The answer? Easy. It’s simply not true.

Diabetes – or uncontrolled blood sugar levels – is normally split into type 1 and type 2.
But researchers in Sweden and Finland think the more complicated picture they have uncovered will usher in an era of personalized medicine for diabetes.

Brazil is suffering its worst outbreak of yellow fever in decades.  The virus, which kills 3 to 8 percent of those who are infected, is now circling the megacities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, threatening to become this country’s first-blown urban epidemic since 1942.

Technology

Not very far away, in Malawi, a drone must have taken off with a cargo of a blood sample for testing HIV infestation of an infant. Usually, it takes 23 days to get the diagnosis done and treatment rendered.  But the drone would make this possible in a few days.

Sub-Saharan Africa is leveraging emerging technologies to improve access to basic provisions to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

Environmental Health

Penguins preserve records of Antarctic environmental change.  The bird’s feathers and eggshells contain the chemical fingerprints of variations in diet, food web structure and even climate, researchers reported February 12 at the American Geophysical Union’s 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting.

Children as young as 4 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo work at cobalt mines, a critical component of lithium-ion batteries. Chronic exposure to cobalt  dust or fumes poses a serious threat to health and wellbeing.

Equity & Disparities

While both income inequality and prevalence of cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors rose in South Africa, the changes in district level GINI coefficients were not significantly associated with changes in CVD risk factors, a new study shows.

Guatemala has the world’s third highest rate of femicide due to domestic violence and health professionals in the country are taking a stand against domestic abuse.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Highly detailed maps show that while there have been improvements in childhood malnutrition, many African nations are set to miss the 2030 SDG targets on malnutrition.

Taking a daily fish oil capsule during pregnancy and the first few months of breastfeeding may reduce a baby’s risk of food allergy, research suggests.

A lack of iodine in pregnancy and early childhood puts nearly 19 million babies around the world at risk of permanent but preventable brain damage every year, a new report has warned.

Ten years ago, a South Asian girl’s risk of getting married as a child was about 50%, but now that has fallen to about 30%.  A UNICEF release Tuesday attributed the progress in India to increasing rates of girls’ education, government investments and public messaging around the illegality of child marriage.

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