IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The government of Australia is preparing to soon offer a 20-minute HIV test in Melbourne. It has yet to decide which clinics will offer the test.
  • The National Population Commission has announced that China has planned to improve county-level family planning services.
  • Regulations have been issued by the government of Indonesia to bear graphic photographic warnings on the cigarette packets.
  • The United Nations has allowed Bolivia to return to the United Nations main anti-narcotics treaty and has given its approval on chewing the coca leaf.
  • Twelve nations have signed a new United Nations treaty which aims to counter the illegal tobacco trade.
  • New York City (U.S.) hospitals will adopt new guidelines that will forbid emergency room doctors to give out more than three days’ worth opioid painkillers to the patients.

Programs:

  • Pfizer Inc. has included its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to expand its pediatric immunization program in Tanzania.
  • UNICEF calls for cessation of child recruitment in the Central African Republic. More than 300,000 children have been affected by the violence which has led to their limited access to education and health facilities.
  • US$176 million announced by IMF and World Bank for debt relief for the Union of the Comoros. It will help the country to fight poverty and improve health and education facilities.
  • European Union gives EUR 16million support to Ghana. This money will support the implementation of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Accelerated Framework and Country Action Plan developed to combat maternal mortality.
  • $25 million has been awarded by Abt Associates for a three-year malaria prevention project in Kenya.
  • The FCC has launched $400 million heath care development fund with an aim to create and expand telemedicine networks.

Research:

  • According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry there is a relationship between mental health and spirituality.
  • According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, nosocomial transmission responsible for XDR-TB outbreak in South Africa.
  • A study identifies the chances of infection (co-infection) with another disease when a person is infected with a disease.
  • A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics, climate can be the reason for a neurological condition, hydrocephalus in children in Uganda.
  • Number of new annual cases of HIV/AIDS cases in India has dropped by 57 percent in the last decade.
  • A study published in J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry links loneliness with higher chances of dementia or memory loss.
  • Researchers have identified role in obesity and diabetes. They have found that blocking the expression of gene TRIP-B2r  in mice protects them against obesity and insulin resistance.
  • A report published by Natural News states that children who are vaccinated according to the CDC recommended schedule are five times more likely to develop diseases as compared those who are not.
  • According to the findings of a report, among all rich countries, people of U.S.  live unhealthy and shorter lives.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • The Flu has surpassed an ‘epidemic’ threshold in the United States. It is widespread in all except the three states of US.
  • According to The New Times survey, there is a severe drug shortage in Kigali hospitals (in Rwanda).
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) yellow fever has killed about 171 people in Darfur (Sudan).
  • Top U.N. Aid officials warn food crisis in two isolated southern states of Sudan. People of South Kordofan and Blue Nile have been feared dying of malnutrition and disease.
  • According to the officials, about 80 people have died in Bangladesh due to cold-related diseases like respiratory problems, pneumonia and cough.
  • People in Beijing have been warned of extremely hazardous air quality. The density of PM2.5 particulates has reached 700 micrograms per cubic meter in many parts of city.
  • Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health has warned the public of possible outbreak of Leptospirosis (rat fever) in flood affected areas.
  • According to the health authorities, Barbados has recorded an increase in dengue cases since the last year.
  • Paraguay has confirmed reports of outbreaks of dengue in the north and east of the country. It has declared a national epidemics alert.

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

  • The Obama administration on Tuesday defined the “essential health benefits” that must be offered to most Americans and by allowing employers to offer bigger financial rewards to employees who quit smoking or adopt healthy behaviors.

Programs

  • In the 62nd WHO Regional Committee for Africa session in Luanda, Angola, the World Health Organization (WHO) has presented its updated health promotion strategy for Africa.
  • The first unrefrigerated vaccine, MenAfriVac vaccine against meningitis has been approved in Africa.
  • According to the International Status Report released in the Conference of Parties to the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC), health warnings in cigarette packets in India only cover 40% of the front face of the packet.

Research

  • According to the researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services the Obama health care reform could provide more than a million women in the U.S. with access to potentially lifesaving tests for breast and cervical cancer.
  • Scientists are working on small pox vaccine to treat the deadly liver cancer.
  • According to the reports released by the United Nations (UN), deaths from HIV/ AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa have dropped down by 32% in the last seven years.
  • A study reveals that malnourished, stunted growth children are growing into obese adults in Africa.
  • According to a study published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, increase in suicide in the United States between 2000 and 2010 is attributable to increase in hanging/ suffocation that too has increased among the people aged between 45- 59 years.
  • A study links between unemployment and heart attack risk.
  • A study indicates link between a child having a happy teenage and his/ her chances of having a wealthier adulthood.
  • According to a study published in the journal Nature, compounds inhibiting protein synthesis or by utilizing the gene therapy targeting neuroligins in rats, scientists at the McGill University and the University of Montreal have created new hope for treatment / understanding of autism spectrum disorders.
  • According to a study published in the journal Radiology concussions may cause brain disruption.
  • Researchers in Australia are very close to treating a hereditary disease, dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Experts say that the lifestyle of people of Mexico has led to having a diabetes disaster in that country.
  • According to the researchers malaria vaccine is only 30% effective in infants in preventing them getting this deadly disease.
  • According to the researcher’s key to feeling younger is to keep smart phones, watching reality television shows and beating younger relatives at games.
  • Scientists in Canada have linked “Happy gene” to “Fat gene”.
  • According to a study, up to 20% under the 65s liver disease death has risen in England due to high levels of drinking and obesity.
  • Scientists have found a link between the drug used to treat Psoriasis inflammation and reduction in dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • According to the scientists at London, smoking rots the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning.
  • A study reveals that one in every ten children in California, U.S. is uninsured. This is higher than the national average.
  • A group of Indian and U.S. scientists in their study have predicted hidden epidemic of neurological disability for people of India.

Diseases and Disasters

  • According to the Germany’s national health institute, a patient from Qatar has been confirmed being infected with a new type of coronavirus. He has severe respiratory problems.
  • Dengue cases on rise in India.
  • Second death has been reported due to Corona virus.
  • Large amount of spores of Lichen forming Trechelomonas algae responsible for the red rain in some parts of Sri Lanka.
  • About 1000 students of a school in Sri Lanka have been hospitalized following some allergic reaction.

 

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-up

Politics and Policies

  • Australia’s cigarette plain packaging law upheld by the government. The World Health Organization hails this decision. This ruling might be followed by other countries too.
  • New policy launched by South Africa government to restructure the current national health insurance policy faces criticisms by the citizens.
  • A new national body to lead the network of Medicare Locals has been launched in Australia.
  • The federal government of Australia has revealed its plans to remove all the asbestos from its government and federal buildings by 2030.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) baby boomers must be tested for hepatitis C.

Programs

  • Johnson & Johnson plans to remove potentially cancer-causing and other dangerous chemicals from nearly all its adult toiletries and cosmetic products within three and half years.
  • Zachary Kimotho raises Sh73 million for paraplegic center in Kenya.
  • Kenya National Hospital goes hi-tech to improve efficiency.
  • The Treatment Action Campaign in Gauteng says it will take health Department to the court to force them to deliver quality health care to citizens.
  • Drug major Cipla launched HIV/AIDS treatment kit in India at Rs 158. It consists of two tablets in one strip which represents a single day’s treatment.

Research

  • A new ranking released by Bloomberg, Singapore has the healthiest population in the world.
  • According to the researchers eating walnuts help to improve sperm count. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins as folic acid and minerals like zinc and selenium which are important for the development of sperm.
  • A team of researchers from Italy say that coca contain flavanols which might reduce the level of dementia and help to improve cognitive functions in elderly.
  • According to a latest research chemotherapy during pregnancy is safe for the baby though baby might have low birth weight.
  • According to report male contraceptive pill might be available very soon in the near future.
  • The Australian researchers have brought before 3-D images to reveal secret life of Legionella bacteria. They have shown how this bacterium does not require a host to survive.
  • A group of U.S. researchers have used different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to scan the brain of people to understand the changes in brain with age. This research can be useful for studying the changes in brain related to autism and ADHD.
  • According to a study treatment involving exposure to traumatic memories help people with post-traumatic stress-disorder and substance abuse issues.
  • A study shows that the Americans living in the south of the United States are fatter than those living in the north of the country. The fired southern U.S. cuisine might be responsible for this.
  • A study done by a group of Australian researchers might bring forward treatment of heroin and morphine addiction.  They have shown that by blocking the immune receptor called TLR4 opioid carving stop.
  • Researchers from Queensland are working on the spider venom as a treatment of breast cancer.
  • A group of researchers from Melbourne and Finland’s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute say that those children who eat vegetables during their children don’t have adult diseases like diabetes and increased cholesterol levels when they grow up.
  • According to the American Cancer Society researchers aspirin helps to prevent the risk of cancer.
  • According to a study vitamin C might help to reduce harmful the effect of air pollution for the people suffering from chronic lung disease.
  • According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health, older American though having a longer life span might not be enjoying better quality of life. They study should that the older people are obese and are facing higher housing costs.
  • A study reveals that children with more self-control might help them to remain thin. It might reduce their chances to gain weight later in life.
  • According to a study the workers at or nearby the Japanese nuclear plant are suffering from high rates of stress and depression.
  • According to a recent study about 206 million Indians use smokeless tobacco.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo. About ten suspected cases and six deaths have been reported so far.
  • Pickles contaminated with E.coli kills six people in Japan. At least 100 people have been reported getting sick after consumption of this contaminated product.
  • Emergency has been declared with the worst seasonal outbreak of West Nile virus in Dallas, Texas has been reported by the officials.
  • Warning has been issued by the state and federal officials after an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in southwestern Indiana.
  • An emergency has been declared in Sierra Leone after the outbreak of cholera in the capital. Eight out of twelve districts have been affected by this disease.
  • A report released by ‘The Times of India’ newspaper reveal that about 121 people have died during clinical trials in India in past six months.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

  • The Ministry of Health (Angola) with World Bank and Total E&P Angola has launched a project for the Reinforcement of Municipal Health Services. It aims to contribute to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.
  • American Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d’lviore, has sponsored the project launched by the Ministry of Health – HIV/AIDS hotline- to enable the public- especially the youth-to get information about the disease.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidelines for couples in which one partner is HIV positive and the other is not. The guidelines for so-called “discordant” couples are being praised by UNAID, Doctors without Borders and others.
  • Federal health officials endorsed a decision by their advisor to let publication of two controversial bird flu studies to prepare the world against a possible deadly pandemic.
  • Indonesian tobacco companies will be forced by the government to place photos of horrific health problems caused by smoking on ever pack and advisers will be banned from showing cigarettes under a planned governmental regulation.

Programs

  • Jeffrey Model Foundation joins 20 countries to Launch World Primary Immunodeficiency Week from April 22- 29. The campaign focuses on early diagnosis and access to appropriate treatment, through public awareness and physician education.
  • Eurostat Press Office has released Health in the EU27 in 2010. According to it, at the age of 65, both men and women in the member states are expected to live a further 9 years in a healthy condition.
  • Edo (state in Nigeria) receives N1.8 Billion cervical cancer vaccines from an international donor agency. The vaccines will be administered to the girl’s ages between 9 and 13 years in the state.
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that obesity and diet related illness could emerge as major challenges for Europe and Central Asia while hunger will only be a minor problem.
  • Latest findings in Breastfeeding Science presented at Medela’s 7th international breastfeeding and lactation symposium in Vienna, Austria on April 20-21, 2012. Presentations include insights into the unique properties of human milk, breastfeeding and medication, and stem cells in human milk.

Research

  • Scientists of University of Edinburgh have found a key protein which is common to many potentially fatal forms of malaria. It could help to develop vaccines or drugs against life-threatening cases of the infection.
  • A study by U.S. National Institute on Aging showed that more daily exercises, even doing housework can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This prospective, observational cohort study involved 716 participants without dementia who participated in the Rush Memory and Aging Project.
  • A survey has revealed the misuse of pesticides, some of them banned, in northern Ghana is affecting the health of the farmers, sometimes with fatal consequences, and contaminating the crops.
  • A research study shows Ayurvedic cure of HIV/ AIDS might be possible by the Neem tree.
  • A study suggests second-generation drug used for hypertension aids heart function independent of blood pressure effect.
  • A study done by the Japanese scientists raise hope for treatment of baldness.
  • Report shows a link between money, education and life expectancy.
  • University of Illinois researchers have shown how soy protein could significantly reduce fat accumulation and triglycerides in the livers of obese patients by partially restoring the function of a key signaling pathway in the organ.
  • An Irish medical study confirms swine flu jab caused increased narcolepsy among those with age groups between five to nineteen years. International experts suggest a number of factors might have contributed to this increased risk.
  • Discovery of a yeast prion which helps cells to survive.
  • A study published in the journal Biofabrication, describes a new method for making medical devices called nerve guidance conduits or NGC’s which may help severely damaged nerves to regrow and restore function.
  • Neuroscientists have discovered key protein responsible for controlling nerve cell protection. It is responsible for controlling the chemical process which reduce or enhance protection mechanism for nerve cells in the brain.
  • The researchers at Columbia Medical Center have identified a molecular pathway that controls the retention and release of the brain’s stem cells- ‘Housekeeping’ mechanism.
  • A team of scientists have shown that the vessels grown from donor cells are good and natural alternative to synthetic vessels. Animal trials have shown promising results.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Earthquake in Chile. Two people died of heart attack.
  • Mexico’s Popo volcano throws glowing rocks. Residents of the semirural communities near the volcano have reported hearing hours of ‘low-pitched roaring’.
  • About 14 students in Bangladesh have been reported suffering from H1N1.
  • In Sri Lanka, dengue fever killed 38, infects 10,000 in a few months.
  • A mystery skin disease killed 19 in Vietnam. Officials seeking international assistance on this issue.

 

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.