Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The White House has ruled that young immigrants who will be allowed to stay in the United States as a part of a new federal policy will not be eligible for health insurance coverage under President Obama’s health care overhaul.
  • Japan is preparing for an increase in tobacco prices to seventy five percent more than the present.
  • China is planning to cut the prices of 95 cancer, immunology and blood related drugs by about 17 percent to reduce the growing number of chronic, age-related diseases in the country and make health care affordable.


  • The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announces 2013 Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Premium rates.
  • The Red Cross calls for funds to halt cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone.
  • Cuba launches its first nanopharmacetical drug- a tweaked variety of cyclosporine to help to prevent transplant rejection.


  • According to the Australian researchers more pregnant women are being diagnosed with some form of cancer. They said that this could either me due to increased mother’s age which increased the possibility of cancer or due to increased interaction with health services during the pregnancy.
  • A study has warned that the U.S. obesity rates will be soared by the year 2030. This will increase the burden of illness and also their health care cost and decrease the productivity.
  • According to a study there is a link between obese pregnant women with sleep apnea and chances of their neonates having this problem.
  • A paper published in the journal Genetics says that compiling large amount of data into useful information for the patients and doctors will help to make them better decisions by knowing the possibility or likelihood of developing / passing along a hereditary  disease. It will make a better sense of genome data using informatics approach.
  • According to the scientist the females who undergo radiation therapy for the cure of cancer have their DNA‘s damaged. This causes two proteins PUMA and NOXA, to trigger the death of cells causing early menopause. Blocking the action of these two proteins will help to prevent infertility in the females undergoing chemotherapy.
  • The scientists at the Harvard School of public health say that the people who consume two or more sugary drink per day have increased chances of developing obesity.
  • According to a study published in the journal Science, newly formed memories can be erased from the human brain.
  • According to the recommendations by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants should be given to the sexually active adolescents as a reliable method of birth control.
  • According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, females who are on high antioxidant diet like fruits and vegetables have reduced risk of developing a heart attack.
  • The scientists at UCLA AIDS institute have discovered that variation in progression of speed of HIV in people vary due to the killer T-immune response that occur early on during this infection. It targets an epitope called IW9 on HIV protein.
  • A study done by the Mayo Clinic Arizona has showed that the spilt-dose preparation technique for colonoscopy has improved the polyp detection rates, precancerous rates, overall quality of preparation and colonoscopy completion rates.
  • A recent study has shown that the efficacy of drugs for treatment of cancer, Alzheimer’s and obesity can be boosted by the nanoparticles to target the mitochondria- the power house of the cell.
  • According to a study published in the journal Lancet, the child mortality rates in Niger (one of the world’s poorest countries) have declined nearly fifty percent over the last decade.
  • DNA barcoding will help to authenticate the natural products. It allows the scientists to use short standardized regions of genetic material to identify the species and compare them to reference genetic sequences.
  • According to a report published in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, the increasing demand to move personalized medicine research forward is fueling the growth of biobanking market.
  • In Botswana vinegar swab is being used to prevent cervical cancer. Pap smear method to diagnose the disease is not possible at times due to lack of laboratories and other facilities.
  • According to a study done by a group of British and Australian researchers the toxic venom of snake can be modified to provide benefit to an organism. The scientists are trying to explore if this discovery can help to find cure for cancer and diabetes.
  • A microscopically thin film made up of hydroxyapatite can prevent caries and will make the teeth look brighter.
  • A study done by the researchers show that the patients and their relative abuse doctors.
  • According to a consumer group, children should avoid consuming too much of canned tuna fish to avoid mercury poisoning.
  • According to a study children exposed to high levels of mercury increase their chances of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • According to Spanish study kid’s score higher in developmental tests if their mothers get enough vitamin D during pregnancy.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • According to the Consumer Reports, the FDA, and the attorney General for the state of Illinois, arsenic levels are reported high in rice.
  • Hundreds of children in North India have been infected with Japanese Encephalitis.
  • Flood situation has deteriorated in North Eastern India.
  • Flood in Cameroon have killed 30 people and affected at least 26,000.
  • Kane County Health Department (Illinois) is conducting a food-borne illness investigation into six cases of Salmonella that are linked to Aliano’s Ristorante in downtown Batavia.
  • Singapore sees more haze, air quality reduced.
  • Kroger (US) has recalled spinach in 15 states to avoid the selling of Listeria-tainted product.
  • A public health alert have been issued by Department of agriculture’s Food Safety and inspection Service (FSIS) for boneless beef trim products imported from Canada that might be contaminated with E.coli O157:H7.