Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • 9/11 health fund given clearance to cover cancer.
  • Arizona tries to keep reins tight as it starts regulating medical marijuana.
  • Hospitals will now be ranked by letter grade for how well they perform on safety measures.


  • The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded US$26million in grants to 85 community organizations during the first quarter- $9.7 million for water stewardship, $3.6million for fitness and nutrition, $7.4 million for education and $4.9 million for community recycling and other local priorities such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, youth development and civic initiatives.
  • UK announces extra £10m drought aid for West Africa. It will fund nutritional treatment, water and sanitation for a further 31,000 children and food for a further 170,000 people for six months.
  • Starwood Hotels and Resorts launches associate fundraising campaign- ‘Road to Awareness’ to support UNICEF education project- Early Childhood Care and Education program-  in Ethiopia.
  • National strategy launched in Zimbabwe to prevent pediatric HIV/ AIDS.
  • New Give2Asia Fiscal sponsorship partners deliver critical services to children in Bangladesh and Cambodia.
  • The Ministry of Health and Population (Nepal) has established community health units at 22 VDCs of 22 districts to facilitate easy access to health services. They have named the program ‘Village Clinic Program’.
  • A nationwide anti-drugs campaign has been launched by the Nepal police in collaboration with a non-governmental organization, NARCONON, to fight against illegal use of drugs to grassroots level across country.
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine creator Prof. Frazer honored.


  • A recent study by the health protection surveillance center showed that about 30% Irish population with HIV do not know that they are suffering from this deadly disease. According to the patient campaigners people are still involved in risk taking behaviors because they do not know that these can lead them to get the HIV infection.
  • The researchers that found that the cancer cells have significantly low rate of mutation. Their study shows that increased cancer is the result of a decrease in reactive oxygen species-mediated mtDNA damage.
  • A study indicates a need to develop a rapid point –of-care test to diagnose acute HIV infection.
  • A study gives an insight on how small number of patients (known as elite controllers or long-term non-progressors) infected with HIV virus are able to prevent it from multiply.
  • New diabetes treatment in late testing stage shows promise. Studies show Degludec reduced low blood sugar during the night when it’s most dangerous, by 36% and also reduced severe hypoglycemia significantly. Since this drug is active in body for more than 24 hours for long-acting insulin, patients can maintain good sugar control even if they don’t take it at the same time every day.
  • A latest research shows that Victoza (liraglutide injection) provided greater reductions in HbA1c compared to exenatide and DPP-4 inhibitors, weight loss and cost-effectiveness, when used in routine primary care.
  • Researchers identify unusual ‘altruistic’ stem cell behavior with possible link to cancer. Their study has shown that certain human embryonic stem cells, in times of stress, produce molecules that not only benefit themselves, but also help nearby cells to survive.
  • A study hints that the children and even the grandchildren of old people may get a health benefit because of their old age. The research is based on telomeres- tips of the ends of the chromosomes. It also confirmed the idea that the older your dad was when you were born, the longer telomeres tend to be.
  • Researchers have found specific groups of cells that HPV targets. It has shown that if those cells are removed from the cervix they did not appear to regenerate. These cells also have a particular gene expression that is the same as found in aggressive cervical tumors that allow the doctors to differentiate benign lesions from dangerous pre-cancers.
  • A team of investigators from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSDM) researchers in corporation with Pavlov State University investigated nondisclosure of HIV infection in a cohort of 700 people living with HIV in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine has published efficacy results of Otsuka’s (Pharmaceutical Company) Delamanid for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
  • A University of Alberta team has made an important breakthrough in the race to find a viable replacement for the supply of technetium-99m, an important isotope for imaging.
  • According to a population based study, Q fever and pneumonia are associated with areas of high livestock density.
  • CT scans warning after study claims too many could lead to brain tumor. Research says children under 15 could face tumors or leukemia’s in later life if they have three or more scans.
  • Studies find no increase in cancer risk from insulin Glargine.
  • Study debunks belief insulin puts people with diabetes at risk of heart disease. strokes and cancer.
  • A study showed that dieting craze in Sweden is linked to cholesterol increase putting the people at increased risk heart disease.
  • New skin patch kills most common form of skin cancer. The treatment called a phosphorus-32 skin patch, a radiation spot-treatment in the form of patch that can safely and easily kill skin tumors with a few easy outpatients’ appointments.
  • Scientists find a new genetic path to deadly diarrheal disease (caused by bacterium Shigella).
  • Study reveals that patients with type-2 diabetes lose weight, decrease insulin in meal replacement therapy.
  • CDC study finds Alabama teens top the teen obesity list.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • An earthquake measuring a magnitude 5.4 struck the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan on Monday morning followed by a 5.7 quake. Scores of people feared dead in this earthquake.
  • Critical situation’ as untreatable gonorrhea accounted for almost 10% of cases in Europe. The ‘Superbug’ strains which are becoming untreatable accounted for almost one in 10 cases of the sexually transmitted disease in Europe in 2010, more than double the rate of the year before.
  • Deadly African sleeping sickness (Trypansoniasis) blamed on witchcraft and demonic possession. Most affected country has been Democratic Republic of Congo, which declared 500 new cases in 2010.
  • Rural Zambia’s drinking supply fraught with danger and disease.
  • In last five months a total of 56 people have died due to dengue in Sri Lanka. According to the ministry the cases have tripled in the first quarter of this year as compared to 2011.
  • In China, one in ten tuberculosis cases are drug-resistant.

Global Health News Last Week

The Advocacy/Policy Committee would like to invite you to participate in our first Advocacy Day, led in partnership with the Global Health Council. The day, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, immediately following the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., will be an opportunity for us to voice support for a continued focus on international health to our elected officials. With the intense Congressional pressure to cut the budget, our voices can make a real difference. As a participant during this exciting day, you will be provided with training materials on effective advocacy techniques to ensure your message is clearly heard. Even if you do not have advocacy experience, you need not hesitate to sign up because you will be teamed with others. Please consider joining your fellow International Health Section members on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 on Capitol Hill to advocate for a healthy globe. Interested parties should register here. Please note that registration will close on October 14th. Any questions should be directed to Peter Freeman, Advocacy/Policy Committee Chair, at or 773.318.4842.



  • Sanitation and hygiene are sensitive and unpopular subjects, but funding them is essential to fighting disease, ensuring basic rights and meeting millennium development goals.
  • The Gates Foundation’s European director Joe Cerrell comes to the defense of the beleaguered Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, arguing to improve on its “impressive record and ensure that millions more lives are saved and the progress against global disease is secured for generations to come.”
  • Almost four months into the Horn of Africa crisis, aid agencies are involved in much soul-searching as to whether they could have responded more quickly to the drought and famine.


  • A Japanese company, the Sumitomo Chemical Company, unveiled a new kind of insecticide treated bed net at a product launch in Kenya.
  • Pregnant women who load up on fruits, veggies and whole grains have a reduced risk of having babies with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida or cleft lip, according to one of the first studies to look at the connection between diet and birth defects.
  • A study by Stanford researchers has determined that infant health can be improved when a mother has a low-fat high fiber diet up to a year prior to getting pregnant.
  • A study published in the British Medical Journal says that if current smoking trends continue until 2050, TB related deaths will jump by 40 million.
  • Though young, there is a lot of potential in what mHealth can offer in developing countries. Amanda Glassman shares some ways that it can be improved.
  • Researchers at the University of Washington have reported some highly problematic findings regarding a common method of birth control in eastern and southern Africa. They are problematic in that they indicate a popular injectable hormone, Depo-Provera, used by perhaps 140 million women worldwide (and often in poor settings) signficantly raises a woman’s risk of HIV infection.
  • Test subjects in a Spanish HIV vaccine trial have shown a 90 percent immune response.


  • A cohort of American and British researchers say that by investing in AIDS treatments, money can be saved in the long term.
  • What should be the top priorities in global health? Infectious diseases? Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)? Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)? A research scientist wonders at the confusion amid this sea of bad acronyms.
  • Former US President Carter is leading the fight against guinea worm making a request that WHO members provide $93 million in funding to wipe out the disease.  DfID has committed to support the push against guinea worm by announcing it will allocating £20 million to the effort.
  • The business news channel CNBC has published an extensive report on the lucrative and growing Dangerous World of Counterfeit Prescription Drugs.