UNICEF celebrated its 65th anniversary on December 11, 2011 (Source: http://www.unicefusa.org/news/news-from-the-field/unicef-at-65-looking-back.html).
Politics and Policies
- The US Department of Health and Human Services announced that, beginning in 2014, states will be allowed a basic set of essential health benefits for millions of Americans who would qualify for coverage through state based insurance exchanges (Source: http://www.politicalnewsnow.com/2011/12/17/states-to-weigh-in-on-basic-health-coverage-reuters/).
- The US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) called for the first ever nation-wide ban on drive use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) while operating a motor vehicle (Source: http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2011/111213.html).
- The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) have opposed a rule that required the health care facilities workers to have an annual influenza vaccine or they lose their jobs (Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/14/idUS205180+14-Dec-2011+GNW20111214).
- First United Nations (UN) report on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, titled, “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, A.HRC.19.41.” was released on Wednesday, December 15th, 2011 (Source: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=35274).
- The United States Conference of Mayors issued a report indicating emergency food assistance increased over the past year by an average of 15%. This report, prepared by City Policy Associates, contains each city (29 cities) survey report with their individual profiles – median household income, the metro unemployment rate, the monthly foreclosure rate, percentage of people in city who fall below the poverty line and contact information for individual service providers (Source: http://www.usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/20111215-release-hhr-en.pdf).
- The IMF has published a Staff Discussion Note on economic growth and income inequality. The note argues that while a certain degree of income inequality can help drive markets, excessive inequality can lead to unsustainable growth (Source: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2011/sdn1108.pdf).
- Research shows link between smoking and skin cancer in women (Source: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/healthcare/studies/story/2011-12-16/Smoking-linked-to-skin-cancer-in-women/52010190/1).
- Key interventions to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths identified in three year study “Essential interventions, commodities and guidelines for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health” (Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2011/reduce_maternal_deaths_20111215/en/).
- A significant improvement in factors related to metabolism and heart health was seen in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, when they wore face mask during their slumber hours, according to a research published in New England Journal of Medicine (Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/239280.php).
- Two out of three Americans fear of global disease out breaks, according to a study conducted by EcoHealth Alliance (Source: http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2011/12/survey-assesses-americans-fear-of-global-disease-outbreaks.aspx).
- Study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Chewing Chat, a natural plant-derived stimulant, increase risk of death and stroke in heart disease patients (Source: http://newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/herbal-amphetamine-increases-risk-220305.aspx).
- A surveillance study from 2007-08 flu season indicates that people on statins (lipid control drug) protected against flu (Source: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/dec1511statin.html).
Diseases and Disasters
- More than 430 people died due to the flooding caused by tropical storm in Philippines (Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/12/typhoons-philippines-drowning-victims.html).
- Louisiana state officials issued a warning about dangers of using tap water of nasal irrigation using neti pot after two people died of infection by “brain eating amoeba” (Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/InfectionControl/30283).
- According to the first National Diabetes audit (U.K.) about three-quarters of avoidable diabetes-related deaths occur in people over 65 years of age (Source: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/interactive/news/up-to-24000-diabetes-related-deaths-are-avoidable-id801239169-t116.html).
- World Health Organization (WHO) report reveals 655,000 deaths in 2010 due to Malaria and Africa accounted for 91% of deaths. UN health agency claims to eradicate this deadly disease by the end of the year 2015 (Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/655-000-malaria-deaths-2010-africa-accounted-91-percent-deaths-article-1.991359).
- In his interview, Oliver Aubry, MSF head of mission in the Central African Republic, says Central Africais in a state of health emergency. Mortality rate reaches emergency levels (Sources: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=5665&cat=field-news, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/press/release.cfm?id=5669&cat=press-release).
- More than 100 people died of drinking contaminated liquor in the villages of West Bengal, India (Sources: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/15/bootleg-booze-kills-143-in-eastern-india/, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/15/india-hooch-idUSL3E7NF2SC20111215).
- Malaysia’s Fourth National Health and Morbidity survey report reveal the unhealthy lifestyle and dietary habits of Malaysian’s (Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/12/16/nation/10109475&sec=nation).
- The International Diabetes Federation president-elect said by 2025, 380 million people will have diabetes, with the greatest burden falling on low and middle-income countries (Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\12\12\story_12-12-2011_pg7_23).
- Pakistanfacing acute threat of bird flu infection, though no warnings have been issued yet (Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\12\12\story_12-12-2011_pg7_2).
These headlines were compiled by Vani Nanda, MPH Candidate at West Chester University PA.
Note: There will be no news round-up next week, as the IH section will be conducting its usual array of activities during APHA’s Annual Meeting. Please tune in for updates on section sessions and activites at the conference. Meanwhile, you can get your global health news fix from the DAWNS digest, Humanosphere, or the Healthy Dose.
October 16 was World Food Day.
October 17 was International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- Scientists are warning officials negotiating a global treaty on mercury that banning the deadly chemical completely would be dangerous for public health because of the chemical’s use in vaccines.
- The Washington Post runs an editorial critical of the GOP presidential candidates’ hostility toward foreign aid.
- An influential panel of MPs warned that changes in UK aid policies may make overseas aid more prone to corruption and misuse.
- Attendees at the Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights have called on countries in the region to introduce comprehensive sexuality education in schools.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a report which finds that global HIV/AIDS funding dropped by 10% in 2010.
- HP Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with USAID to collaborate in the fight against global poverty through initiatives directed at issues such as public health.
- GAVI CEO Seth Berkley pens an op-ed in Huffington Post on the economic value of childhood vaccines.
- The Pan African Parliament has passed a resolution that urges African nations to prioritize maternal, newborn and child health programs.
- USAID is initiating research to find out whether developing world families will adopt a new cooking technology and adapt their cooking methods to save their health.
- At an event in Washington, the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council called for increased accessed to contraception worldwide.
- Microfinance initiatives to fund development could benefit from reinvigorating their aims and taking on new, integrated approaches, according to experts at the 2011 International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy in Montreal.
- A new study, by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, Gilead Sciences Inc. and universities in Belgium and Italy, suggests that a microbicide gel, which was originally developed to fight AIDS in Africa, could lower the incidence of herpes in many women.
- RTS,S a malaria vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline, is showing great of promise in the early stages of its huge clinical trial. The American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Council Member and Science Director at the PATH Malaria Control Program, Rick Steketee, explores the impact of the new RTS,S clinical trial results and what this breakthrough means for science and neglected tropical disease research. On the other hand, Sarah Boseley wonders where the money will come from once the vaccine has passed its trials, and Karen Grepin is not as excited about the new GSK malaria trial results as many others.
- Adults who have fallen behind on mortgage payments exhibited higher rates of depression and are skipping meals and medications because they cannot pay the bills, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found.
- Teenage drivers have fewer crashes after they’ve been driving for a while, but new research in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that a few months behind the wheel do not improve their driving skills much.
- A recent study finds that the best way to fight TB in patients with HIV is to treat as early as possible.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- The famine in Somalia isn’t getting much public attention, but not because things are improving. Aid workers predict things will get worse before they get better. Much-needed rain is coming, but the rainfall could deepen the crisis for the four million people there who need help.
- Numerous UN agencies are ready to be deployed if Southeast Asian nations ravaged by flooding request for assistance.
- A report by Roll Back Malaria Partnership released at the start of the Gates Foundation’s Global Malaria Forum says that the world is making positive steps towards eradicating malaria. Specifically, 29 countries are on track to stop malaria within a decade.
- Environmental hazards sicken or kill millions of people — soot or smog in the air, for example, or pollutants in drinking water. But the most dangerous stuff happens where the food is made — in peoples’ kitchens.
- World Health Organization officials say the rapid and extensive globalization of food production has increased the incidence of food contamination worldwide.
- Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically, according to some top economists marking World Food Day Sunday.
- Climate change poses an immediate and serious threat to global health and stability, as floods and droughts destroy people’s homes and food supplies and increase mass migration, experts warn.
- A survey of 87 countries showed more than half the countries reported more or much more awareness of mental illnesses in the past three years. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of new money behind that awareness.