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.
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 email@example.com or 773.318.4842.
The University of Washington has launched the first full year of its Global Health Minor program!
POLITICS AND POLICY
- Tobacco companies knew that cigarettes contained a radioactive substance called polonium-210, but hid that knowledge from the public for over four decades, a new study of historical documents revealed.
- Latin American leaders have agreed to accelerate their efforts to address maternal health at the 51st Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization.
- Journalist Georgianne Nienaber looks at the impact of PEPFAR and how it may be impacted by budget battles in Congress.
- Earlier this week, the World Health Organization released a report analyzing air pollution levels in nearly 1100 cities in 91 countries. The analysis was based on air particulate levels between 2003 and 2010.
- When it came out a while ago that the CIA had used a fake vaccination scheme to try to find out where Osama bin Laden might be in Pakistan, many said it would undermine real health and humanitarian efforts. Here’s one group’s story.
- Foreign aid has acquired a bad reputation in recent years, as something usually wasteful and useless. Yet all this sound and fury has overshadowed the evidence that aid often can work.
- A report by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health finds that over 100 countries have increased financing for maternal and child health initiatives.
- The humanitarian impact of the world economic crisis became clearer this week, as the UN warned of huge job losses, a rise in the number of people afflicted by chronic undernourishment, and the “extraordinary price” being paid by children as “austerity programs” constrict the developing world.
- There is enough water in the world’s rivers to meet the demands of the expanding global population, but the rivers have to be better managed, according to a series of studies released today at the 14th World Water Congress in Porto de Galinhas, Brazil.
- UNICEF has called on the IMF and World Bank to ensure that children are not negatively impacted by austerity measures carried out by various countries.
- The New York Times shows how male circumcision is one of the most effective and simple solutions in HIV reduction, but has so far been hard to implement. Meanwhile, a group of economists, including Bjorn Lomborg, are casting doubt on the cost-effectiveness of voluntary male circumcision campaigns as an HIV prevention measure.
- The New York Times features an article about the simple innovation of using vinegar to detect if a woman has cervical cancer by applying it with a brush to the cervix.
- The Global Fund, the world’s largest funder of global health, is set to radically shake up the way it disburses and manages donor money, in a move to boost efficiency that could reallocate a third of its financing in order to save more lives.
- On Tuesday, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization announced that it will be expanding its target vaccine areas to directly address diarrhea and pneumonia.
- UNFPA has announced that it is now collaborating with UNICEF to combat Female Genital Mutilation.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- Roads may accelerate spread of antibiotic resistance: Samples from villages by major roads in Ecuador compared to more rural villages shows antibiotic resistant E. coli is spreading along roads.
- The recent heavy flooding caused by the monsoon in Pakistan, most devastating in Sindh, has affected the lives of over five million people. The Health and Nutrition Cluster is appealing for US$45.9 million. WHO requires US$14.8 for response for Health, Nutrition and Water and Sanitation intervention.
- New enterovirus causes respiratory disease: Promed reports on 6 clusters of respiratory illness associated with human enterovirus 68 in Asia, Europe, and the United States during 2008–2010.
- More than 20 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean lacks basic sanitation and 15 percent has no access to drinking water because of poor management, said experts at a meeting that ended Thursday in Brazil.
- The likelihood of water-borne disease outbreaks is high in areas in Philippines recently devastated by Typhoon Nesat.
- Aid groups are criticizing the U.S.government delay on deciding whether to resume large-scale food donations to North Korea. The charities warn that many vulnerable people in the impoverished communist state could die from starvation.
- In a new report on rabies, the WHO finds that 45% of cases in the world take place in Southeast Asia.
- A decade-long study of 135,000 men found that those who did not have children had a higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who did, raising new questions over the links between fertility and overall health,U.S. researchers said on Monday.
- More money is needed to save lives in famine-ravaged East Africa, with the UN saying it’s something like $700 million through year’s end. The World Bank announced from Washington it would boost its aid to area countries to nearly $1.9 billion. As if famine weren’t enough, Nick Kristoff tells us that as Somalis stream across the border into Kenya, at a rate of about 1,000 a day, they are frequently prey to armed bandits who rob men and rape women in the 50-mile stretch before they reach Dadaab, now the world’s largest refugee camp.
- An explosion of new technologies and treatments for cancer coupled with a rapid rise in cases of the disease worldwide mean cancer care is rapidly becoming unaffordable in many developed countries, oncology experts said on Monday.
TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING – Twitter knows what you’re feeling!
The following announcement, from Eric Williams, calls for any IH section members interested in assisting efforts to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding. Please see the text of the announcement below. Eric can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m writing to request assistance in a “grasstops” effort to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding. As you are likely well aware, there have been serious threats and concerns regarding global health funding over the last several years. There is a real need to mobilize influential members of our community in an effort to ensure that Congress does not backtrack on our global health commitments.
I am doing some consulting work with amfar and they want to identify experts, donors, high-profile individuals and/or organizations in select states who can reach out to key Senate leadership. We need these individuals/organizations to show and voice their support for continued and sustained commitments for global health.
States of focus include Nevada (Sen. Harry Reid), Iowa (Sen. Tom Harkin), and Washington (Sen. Patty Murray). We believe these senators are in key positions to influence appropriations decisions and sure up support for global health.
The aim of this effort is to:
- identify grasstop individuals/organizations and
- plan, coordinate, and carry out outreach efforts to Senate leadership in a variety of ways, including state-level meetings, Hill visits, op-eds, sign-on letters, and so forth.
If you are interested or able to provide assistance in helping to identify and/or reach out to the above stakeholders, I would be very interested in speaking. If there is strong support for this I would be happy to facilitate a conference call to discuss in full.
August 19 was World Humanitarian Day.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- The CDC has made updates to its flu vaccination recommendations aimed at children and people with egg allergies.
- The United Nations has released a list of 248 organizations from 48 nations that are accredited to attend the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during September 19-20, 2011. Meanwhile, as has been widely reported (including here and here), negotiations have stalled over an “outcomes document” that is to be approved at the meeting.
- The World Health Organization is calling for a ban on a common blood test for TB, saying the test is unreliable.
- Twenty-two children in Kancheepuram, Indiawho were not allowed to go to school because they are HIV positive have been ordered to return to school after a court ruled in favor of the students.
- International funding for HIV fell by 10 percent in 2010 from the previous year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS; activists worry that a continued reduction will undermine progress in global HIV prevention and treatment efforts.
- A study from Senegal published in the Lancet at the beginning of this month raises doubts over Gates’ plant to beat malaria, blaming mosquitoes’ growing resistance to insecticide and decreased immunity to malaria among the local population.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency have announced a strategic partnership to ensure continued progress in the fight against polio, including an innovative financing agreement to support polio-eradication efforts in Pakistan.
- USAID announced the expansion of its Indoor Residual Spraying program. The $189 million, there-year contract awarded by USAID to Abt. Associates will cover the implementation of IRS activities in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- WHO has released Psychological First Aid: Guide for Fieldworkers, a guide intended to provide field workers the tools to provide psycho-social support to themselves and those affected by a disaster or humanitarian crisis.
- The first comprehensive etiology study of childhood pneumonia in 3 decades has been launched. Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) will be a collaboration between sites in Africa, Asia and the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- The WHO Says Libya is facing a medical supply crisis.
- The United Nations food agency called on Thursday for long-term aid for farmers in the Horn of Africa, saying constant crises in the region should shame the world.
- A report by the National Institute of Malaria research in Delhi has found that climate change will enable malaria to move to new areas.
- New research finds that radiation from the nuclear plant accident in Japanin March reached Californiawithin days, showing how quickly air pollution can travel, but scientists say the radiation will not hurt people.
- According to an article published in Science, 19 August, cases of Chagas disease are rising outside Latin America, because large numbers of people who are already infected are migrating fromLatin America.
- Len Rubenstein comments on the attacks on healthcare personnel inBahrain and the recent progress made to protect healthcare workers in conflict zones.
INFOGRAPHICS AND OTHER INTERESTING VISUALS
Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Larry Johnson (filling in for Tom Paulson), Isobel Hoskins, and Jeff Meer.