Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • Swaziland has launched a new national framework to eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keep their mothers alive.
  • According to a report Pakistani politicians have pledged for health and education of their people.
  • A Texas Senate bill would revise the state’s end-of-life procedure.
  • Bloomberg’s campaign might close off the remaining means of access to cheap cigarettes and little cigars which make it easier for teenagers to experiment with smoking and progress to smoking regularly.


  • World Bank has approved a concessionary loan of US $200 million to Sri Lanka to further enhance the quality of the health sector service.
  • §  Britain is going to launch a £179 million five-year healthcare program in the Democratic Republic of Congo which aims to reach about six million people.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to clamp down on the sale of non-iodized salt.
  • UNICEF has increased its support from four to ten districts in the Upper East region in Ghana to implement a 5 year child survival program known as the Essential Newborn Care (ENC).
  • A regional health agency has been launched in Kigali, Rwanda, East Africa aiming to facilitate and improve regional health sectors.
  • US AIDS agencies have begun their five-year effort with Malawi’s government to improve health care services for HIV/AIDS virus infected people.
  • Irish aids program helping African people suffering from HIV/ AIDS.
  • Niger’s first lady commits to stopping new HIV infections in children.


  • According to a study done by the scientists at Queen’s University, the risk of getting head and neck cancer can be reduced by 22% by taking a weekly or even monthly dose of over-the counter aspirin.
  • A study shows that climate change can worsen the public health threat of diarrheal disease in Botswana.
  • According to a global health study HIV/ AIDS and tuberculosis are two top killers among the people of Russia.
  • A study on a disease- konzo- indicate that its physical effects on body is accompanied by impairment of children’s memory, problem solving capability and their cognitive functions.
  • Scientists in United Kingdom have been successful in making a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease. Since it is not made from live virus, its production will require no special containment.
  • United Nations analyst says that Tanzania might achieve millennium goal on maternal health.
  • Kenya Aids Research Coordinating Mechanism chairperson has called for teamwork in HIV/Aids research.
  • According to a study early detection of bowl cancer can help to prevent cancer. They say that those who participated in the screening program were the people who were the most easiest to treat.
  • A study says that a ‘new diagnostic test may be safe and easy screening method that could improve the prognosis of patients with pancreatic cancer through early detection’.
  • Study shows that obesity makes a person to exercise less.
  • According to a study elderly people who have many social interactions may live longer than those who are more socially isolated.
  • According to a NIH study pregnant women who experienced financial, emotional or other personal stress in the year before their delivery had an increased chance of having stillbirth.
  • A study by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention many mothers in U.S. start infants on solid foods earlier than experts recommend.
  • A study done by the scientists at Boston School of Public Health finds a link between childhood abuse and fibroids.
  • Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine say that improving levels of vitamin D in the blood via supplementation could help to fight disease by affecting gene expression and boosting the immune system.
  • Italian scientists say that people who suffer from migraines are more likely to have brain abnormalities at birth and some develop them over the course of time.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • According to the reports about two people have died due to infection of a new strain of Avian flu in China.
  • UNICEF warns that 2 million children in Central African Republic are without basic supplies.
  • United Nations has been forced to delay desperately-needed food-aid to nearly 300,000 people in Guinea Bissau as it has so far received no donations to support its operation.
  • According to the United Nations reports about 240,000 Pakistani children have missed their UN sponsored polio vaccinations due to the security concerns in the country’s tribal regions.
  • According to the reports, skin lightening is popular among the females in Senegal despite of health concerns over the product.
  • Reports show that the public health centers in Tanzania do not have enough medicine and hospital supplies.
  • Clusters of vancomycin resistant enterococci cases in Kowloon Central Cluster (KCC), in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong have been reported.
  •  Visitors urged to stay away from Beaumount Hospital Dublin due to flu outbreak, according to the reports.
  • The health officials of Australia have become alarmed after the report of first death from XDR-TB- drug resistant tuberculosis.
  • According to the reports, more than 7,000 people might have been exposed to HIV and or hepatitis in Oklahoma dentist’s office.


Global Health Weekly News Round-up

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joins the World Health Organization to recognize the World Hepatitis Day July 27.

Politics and Policies:

  • Obama administration announces ground-breaking public-private partnership to prevent health care fraud. It is designed to share information and best practices in order to improve detection and prevent payment of fraudulent health care billings.
  • Doctors petition for limits on painkillers. They have urged the FDA to curtail the overuse and abuse of prescription painkillers by changing the labeling directions on how and when physicians should prescribe them.
  • African health experts- policy makers, advocates and researchers are meeting in Kampala, Uganda to reaffirm national and regional commitments to achieving Millennium Development Goal (MGD) 5, to ensure the health of girls and women become a regional priority.
  • A number of public health organizations in South Africa have extended their support for the amendments on the Tobacco Products Control Act which is meant to support the non-smokers.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new inhaled drug for the treatment of the lung disease COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
  • According to congressional budget office Supreme Court health care law leaves 3 million more uninsured.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will award inpatient rehabilitation facilities $140 million increase in Medicaid payments under the IRF prospective payment system in fiscal year 2013.
  • Singapore ratifies ILO (International Labor Organization) framework for occupational health and safety.
  • The Australian Health Department wants to outsource its operational and management responsibilities for the personally controlled e-health record system to a single provider.


  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative Inc. a $69.4 million loan to launch a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan in Colorado.
  • Hospitals in Iowa provided $1.4 billion community benefits (health screenings, support groups etc.) in 2011.
  • $6.1 Million “Innovation Grant” awarded to test comprehensive care physician model.
  • Bungoma (Kenya) Hospital project hit by row.
  • In Sierra Leone, youth want a review of abortion law.
  • Energy, health care dominates agenda on the eve of Canada’s annual summer summit.


  • A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that adult mortality rates fell after three states (New York, Maine, Arizona) Medicaid expansions.
  • Study finds drop in death rate in states that follow lines of Obama health law.
  • A new technique uses PET/CT imaging with a compound called choline (F-Flourocholine) to help doctors to detect prostate cancer earlier.
  • Trial signals major milestone in hunt for new TB drugs.  The results presented at the 2012 International AIDS Conference reveal progress in the pursuit of an antiretroviral- compatible TB treatment for the patients with TB/HIV co-infection.
  • The results of a study of HIV treatment policies in 23 countries show that governments have made improvements to get better antiretroviral treatment (ART) to more people but implementation of innovative community-based strategies is lagging behind.
  • According to study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, lung function may decline slower in smokers with sufficient vitamin D levels as compared to smokers who are vitamin D deficient.
  • A study shows that people with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are 2.6 times more prone to developing cancer.
  • A study shows that inactivity puts 1 in 3 adults at risk for disease.
  • According to a study some people are more physically active may be due to their genetic predisposition while evolutionary factors and the obesity, might also play a role in it.
  • Researchers have identified various successful and promising interventions to improve the opportunities for regular physical activity. Promoting exercise and community events through mass media campaigns as well as decision prompts and signage to motivate people are among the few identified as successful examples.
  • A study shows new way of delivering anti-scarring drug reduces the need for repeat injections by 40 percent. This process reduces post-surgical scarring of glaucoma patients.
  • Study shows that information and communication technologies could be an effective way of encouraging millions of people worldwide to become more physically active.
  • A paper in the Lancet says physical inactivity should be recognized as a pandemic.
  • Researchers have found that the drug resistant HIV is on rise in Africa.
  • Study suggests that short, cumulative exercise sessions are beneficial for health especially for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Diseases & Disasters

  • An earthquake of 3.8 magnitude hit Los Angeles on July, 25, 2012.
  • Five infant deaths signal serious whooping cough outbreak in UK.
  • According to the Ugandan health officials, about 14 people in western Uganda have been killed by the infection with the deadly Ebola virus. There is no cure or vaccine for the treatment or prevention from this deadly infection in Uganda. National emergency task force has been set up to prevent the spread of disease.
  • The typhoid outbreak in Zimbabwe is suspected to be caused by the consumption of contaminated water.
  • Mysterious nodding disease afflicts young Ugandans.
  • Whooping Cough epidemic in Washington State.
  • World Health Organization has expressed its concerns over the rise in cholera cases in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo amid clashes between the armed groups and government.



Global Health News Last Week


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Global Health TV Video: Nutrition, obesity and exercise in maternal and child health

At the 38th Annual International Conference on Global Health, four distinguished panelists — Mirta Roses Periago, Hon. Richard Visser, James Whitehead and Marc Van Ameringen — discuss the dual burden of undernutrition and obesity in developing countries.