Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • U.S. task force has issued blood pressure guidelines.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives less-expensive option, approves first generation versions of Plavix (blood thinners).
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered forbidding the state dental board to restrict non-dentists from the teeth whitening services in Richmond, Va. According to AMA this decision might change medical practice regulation.
  • U.S. says Medicaid overpaid $ 700 M to New York State.
  • Missouri legislators have agreed to compromise on the debate over insurance coverage of contraception, abortion and sterilization.
  • The FDA advisory committees have endorsed two new HIV drugs and an arthritis drug.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services has announced a two-year pay boost for the primary care physicians who treat Medicaid patients.
  • According to the guidelines released on Wednesday, states should submit  details to the Federal government by November 16th on how they will run online insurance market places.
  • The ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure developed by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in collaboration with the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC was launched at the Heart Failure Congress 2012, 19-22 May, in Belgrade, Serbia. These are published in the European Heart Journal.
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) is warning the public not to consume the Gills Onion brand Fresh Diced Red Onions because the product might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
  • As a part of e-health initiatives to improve primary health services in rural and underdeveloped areas, the union health ministry of India has given Rs 18.878 crore to states to facilitate establishment of Telemedicine network.

Programs

  • The Parsons Foundation gives $5million to fight HIV/AIDS in Arizona.
  • UAE school children to learn the benefits of milk in a month-long nationwide campaign. It will target first-grade students.
  • The CMS innovation center awarded 26 grants to a variety of healthcare organizations. The purpose is to improve the healthcare delivery.
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) disclosed that its Philippines office has raised $28.5 M funds in the year till date. This money will be used to promote reproductive and maternal health- one of the country’s Millennium Development Goals.

Research

  • According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, people who have bachelor’s degree or higher live about nine years longer than those who don’t graduate from the high school.
  • Besides urinary tract health benefits, a new study confirmed Cranberry’s benefits in boosting body’s immunity. The study also showed that consuming its juice significantly increased the levels of an important antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD).
  • A study indicates that the artificial sweeteners might cause inflammatory bowel disease.  They contain saccharin and sucralose which decrease the gut bacteria and weaken and destroy the gut barrier.
  • A research study found genes which connect football, military and Alzheimer’s disease together.
  • Chilean berry (maqui berry) extract might help to fight type-2 diabetes. The study shows that the anthocyanin’s- delphinidin 3-sambobioside-5-glucoside (D3S5G)-demonstrated insulin-like effects in muscles and liver cells in mice.
  • A study demonstrates the long-term effectiveness of a classroom-based prevention program targeting teen drug use. This study tracked teens that participated in the Bolvin Life Skills Training (LST) program as 7th graders and found that their participation in this program produced long lasting reduction in drug use 12 years later.
  • A study reveals that the healthcare law would save consumers nearly $300 per year. The research says that the saving will be even greater for the people between ages of 55 and 64.
  • According to a new governmental analysis, the foods which come under category of non-healthy food are more costly than the healthy food.
  • According to an 18-month long study conducted by the Rand Corp, about 96% of restaurant entrees exceed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat.
  • Healthy dieting in pregnancy may be helpful. Study reveals that up to 40% of women gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy. This excess weight is associated with a number of problems.
  • According to a study, mental distraction can help in relieving pain. The findings show that this isn’t just a mental process, but also physical mechanism that reduces the amount of pain signals travelling from the spinal cord to the brain.
  • An analysis done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveal the rate of current cigarette use among the U.S. teens decreased from nearly 12 percent in 2004 to about 8 percent in 2010.
  • A study indicates a possible risk between certain sunscreens use and chances of development of endometriosis. The chemicals known as benzophenone-type UV filters not only protect the skin from UV rays but they are easily absorbed into the blood stream and mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen.
  • A study examining the sleeping behaviors of the parents whose children suffer from epilepsy say that they often lose sleep over child’s epilepsy.
  • A new U.S. study finds that government workplace safety inspections reduce on-the-job injuries and related costs without hurting company profits.
  • A study done on mice show that though it’s important what we eat but also when we eat. The scientists suggest eating too many hours a day may also contribute to obesity.
  • Harvard university researchers say that the bad fat may affect brain memory.

 

Diseases & Disasters

  • A moderate earthquake rattled an area in east Texas on May 17th. It had a magnitude of 4.3.
  • A maginitude-6.2 earthquake shook down walls and knocked out electricity in parts of far-northern Chile on Monday, May 14th, 2012.
  • Cluster of Influenza A cases in Castle Peak Hospital in Hong Kong.
  • Kenya is facing BCG vaccine shortage.
  • The water supply to tens of thousands of households near Tokyo was cut off on Saturday after local checks found it was contaminated with cancer causing chemical- Formaldehyde. A contamination of 0.2000 milligrams of formaldehyde per liter – more than two times the 0.80 milligram national limit- was detected.

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

Programs

Research

Diseases & Disasters

Global Health News Last Week

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • South Africa’s government has set out its plans to introduce a universal health care scheme with a pilot program in 10 areas by 2012 and nationally over the next 14 years.
  • The U.N. must make reducing salt intake a global health priority, sayUK scientists. Writing in the British Medical Journal they say a 15% cut in consumption could save 8.5 million lives around the world over the next decade.
  • IRIN reports on the story of Daniel Ng’etich, a Kenyan man who was arrested and jailed for not continuing his TB treatment.
  • Dr. Jill Biden is leading a high level American delegation toKenya, which includes Raj Shah, to look into the American response to the famine crisis in the Horn of Africa.
  • A report on the state of maternal health in South Africa by Human Rights Watch has uncovered some alarming trends.

PROGRAMS

  • WHO has launched a new website to help those combating malnutrition. eLENA, a new e-library, gathers together evidence-informed guidelines for an expanding list of nutrition interventions. It is a single point of reference for the latest nutrition guidelines, recommendations and related information.

RESEARCH

  • A TB vaccine designed for those with HIV enters phase IIb trials this week in Senegal. The vaccine works by boosting response of T cells already stimulated by the traditional BCG vaccine.
  • Female smokers are more at risk for heart disease than male smokers, finds a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Lancet.  This is a concern, as smoking rates are increasing in young women worldwide.
  • Scientists are in the second phase of research into using microwaves to kill malaria parasites in mice.
  • A USC researcher has developed a lentiviral vector that can track down HIV infected cells which can potentially act as a marker for targeted elimination of infected cells.
  • People living with HIV who receive the proper ARV treatment have no greater risk of death compared to people without HIV, finds Danish researchers.
  • Around 30 genetic risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis have been discovered by a UK-led team.
  • A new study, showing that a simple blood test can accurately determine the sex of a fetus 95 percent of the time, is great news for parents at high risk of having a baby with rare genetic diseases. But it is bad news to those concerned that the tests could be used to abort a fetus based on gender.
  • British researchers have discovered that the introduction of spermless male mosquitoes can lead to fewer malaria carrying females.
  • A device which can test blood for HIV/AIDS in a matter of minutes has been developed by University of Columbia scientists.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • As if it did not have enough problems already, Somalia is now facing cholera epidemic, World Health Organization officials said.
  • In an August 4 article, Trustlaw’s Lisa Anderson exposes the “silent health emergency” faced by child brides around the globe.  Not yet physically mature, they face grave danger in childbirth, due to narrow pelvises. Girls younger than 15 years of age have a five times greater risk of dying during delivery than women over 20; most of these deaths occur in developing countries that lack adequate and accessible pre- and postnatal care.
  • Amid contradictory government statistics, a volunteer group in Japan has recorded 500,000 radiation points across the country.
  • A Mexican teenager is the first officially known person to die from vampire bat induced human rabies infection. The 19-year-old victim was a migrant farm worker in theUnited States.
  • An estimated 500,000 people in West Africaare infected with lassa fever every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, amid calls for more money to be spent on preventing its spread.
  • Over at Global Pulse, Human Rights Watch researcher Katherine Todrys guest blogs on the HIV epidemic in Uganda’s penitentiaries.Uganda, she explains, has often been presented as a success story in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, and has received over $1 billion from the US for AIDS programs. Many HIV-positive Ugandans have been excluded from these efforts, though, including gay men, drug users, sex workers, and prisoners.
  • Sleep apnea, a fairly common and treatable disorder that causes people to stop breathing momentarily while they sleep, may lead to cognitive impairment and even dementia.
  • Although cases of sexual violence have been under-counted during some wars, during others, such as the ongoing unrest in Libya, they have been vastly over-counted.
  • All patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do two and a half hours of physical exercise every week, says a report by Macmillan Cancer Support.