Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill hope to combat the opioid epidemic in part by expanding access to addiction treatment, a key part of a major legislative package.

Melania Trump began her week-long sojourn to Africa in Accra, Ghana.  The First Lady was greeted on the tarmac by Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and a bouquet of flowers wrapped in kente cloth followed by a performance of dancing and drumming.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the future of global health, which he says has the potential to be enhanced by the development of universal vaccines and improved preventative measures.

In the lead-up to the first U.N. high-level meeting on tuberculosis, global health experts said the momentum was different, that a turning point was near in the fight against the disease, the world’s top infectious killer.

The House and Senate have reached agreement on a big package of measures to address the opioid epidemic.  The legislation, backed by leaders of both parties, is a rare bipartisan achievement that lawmakers are eager to have in hand when they go home to campaign for the midterm elections.

Programs, Grants & Awards

Global Health Corps (GHC), a leadership development organization working to build the next generation of global health leaders, was named for the prestigious of 2018 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

October 1 marks World Vegetarian Day 2018, which takes place to raise awareness of the benefits of a vegetarian diet.  With many lpeople now considering at least reducing their meat intake, here we round up what research from the past year says about how a vegetarian diet may be able to boost health.

National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is investing in a young generation of HIV prevention researchers by providing African-American and Latino medical students with opportunities to conduct independent research while receiving mentoring, project and salary funding, training, and professional development opportunities.

Research

Fuel cells have long been viewed as a promising power source. But most fuel cells are too expensive, inefficient, or both.  In a new approach, inspired by biology, a team has designed a fuel cell using cheaper materials and an organic compound that shuttles electrons and protons.

Preterm birth remains a global epidemic linked to a lifetime of potential health complications. It also is difficult to study in living creatures–especially the uniquely precise biology of preterm birth in humans.

Although substantial progress has been made in reducing diarrhoeal deaths among children in low-income and middle-income countries, from approximately 1.6 million in 1990 to 450, 000 in 2016, sustaining these improvements will require additional strategies and approaches.

The University of Birmingham has been awarded £1.9 million through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research (GHR) Programme to fund world class research into a common heart condition in disadvantaged populations in China, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

Diseases & Disasters

More than 80,000 Americans died of flu in the winter of 2017-2018, the highest number in over a decade, federal health officials said last week.

Global health officials are preparing for African swine fever, which has been spreading in pigs across borders since 2014, reaching Western Europe last week.

Everyone feels isolated sometimes, but with one in five Americans chronically lonely, has loneliness reached epidemic proportions?  In 1988, the journal Science published a landmark study suggesting isolation was as strong a risk factor for morbidity and mortality as sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure and smoking or obesity

Governments should raise the price of alcohol and restrict its availability in a bid to reduce harmful drinking, the World Health Organization has said.

Researchers have found a link between sudden cardiac death (when the heart suddenly stops beating) and a common heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse that affects around 12 in every 1000 people worldwide.

The risk of Ebola escaping from the Democratic Republic of Congo is now “very high,” and the outbreak already is nearing Uganda, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Technology

Mobile is a key enabler of sustainable economic growth and a major contributor to the delivery of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of audacious targets to end poverty, halt climate change, and fight injustice and inequality – all to be achieved by 2030.

Environmental Health

Health officials say smoking not only kills about 7 million people every year, but has a devastating impact on the environment contributing to deforestation, water and soil depletion and acidification.

Following the extreme, earthquake-triggered tsunamis unleashed in the Indian Ocean in 2004 and Japan in 2011, a spate of disaster films like The Impossible have depicted doomsday tidal wave scenarios.

A landmark treaty signed in Greenland will help to protect vulnerable fisheries in the Arctic.

October 1 marks the 41st annual World Vegetarian Day and the start of Vegetarian Awareness month. The annual occasion was founded in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society and was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978 to entice omnivores “to give meatless fare a try (even for a day)” and to commend those with “healthy, compassionate food choices.”

Equity & Disparities

Sweat poured down Fenol’s body as he writhed in pain on a stretcher in a southern Haiti emergency room. Two days earlier, a motorcycle crash caused massive trauma to his abdomen.  His internal injuries had precipitated multi-organ failure and shock, and he had lost precious time searching desperately for a hospital with surgical capacity. His pain, fear, and mortal predicament was borne from a violation of what we believe is a fundamental human right: he had no access to essential, life-saving surgery.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

There’s very little research on whether medications are safe and effective in pregnant and lactating women, but an expert panel has ideas for how to close that information gap — and it’s calling on the federal government to take action in a new report that could stir change.

 

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