Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • Supreme Court upholds President Obama’s health-care law.
  • South Africa adopts 2.5 micron meter (PM 2.5) ambient air quality standards to maintain public health.
  • Indian government proposes new health mission with a focus on the health challenges of people in towns and cities.
  • For uninsured in Texas, Supreme Court ruling adds to uncertainty.
  • Some GOP-led states plan to resist health care law, as ruling reins in Medicaid expansion.
  • Ottawa earmarks $238M for health data research.

Programs

  • The Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project sold a total of 87400 apples and raised N$1.3 million for the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN).
  • Swim across America raises $400K for cancer research.
  • The Prem Rawat (TPRF) Foundation has awarded US$20,000 to cover the costs of a garden-installation program in challenged Niger. These gardens provide fresh produce for the school children lunch.
  • The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), with financial support of the government of Canada begins 5-year $2million healthcare program that will focus on preventing HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis among pregnant women in the Ngqushwa district of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  • The International Youth Fellowship (IYF) has launched 2012 World Youth Camp in Accra. The aim behind it is make the youth stay away from acts that might lead to violence and conflicts during the coming elections. It will include free medical screening and lectures.
  • A polio campaign from June 29 to July 1 in Lunda Norte Province (Angola) is estimated to vaccinate about 250,000 children from ages 0 to 5.
  • Looking at the health and safety problems of the children, Nestle, Africa vows action on coca child labor in Ivory Coast.
  • Equatorial Guinea offers food aid to Somali famine victims.
  • Workshop on malaria control under way in Ethiopia. This year’s National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) Best Practice Sharing Workshop will acknowledge the progress made in managing malaria (particularly at community level).
  • Global action for healthy communities without illicit drugs theme marked the celebrations of International Day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Gambia.
  • ‘Love the Gambia foundation’ donated medical equipment’s worth £150,000 to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Gambia.
  • A team of IBM experts presented a plan to the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the United States Embassy in Kenya to encourage more women to request screening for cervical cancer.
  • Ghana to give USD1m to tackle neglected endemic tropical diseases in order to protect the gains made by the country in Guinea Worm eradication and the elimination of trachoma.
  • Uganda Red Cross Society seeks Sh4.5 Billion for Budada district to provide the people with sanitation kits, hygiene kits, latrine slabs, and safe clean water and sanitize them to prevent any disease outbreaks like diarrhea and dysentery.
  • “Neighbors’ eye” program in Rwanda to help eradicating drug abuse.
  • Hong Kong’s first anti-cancer drug (for liver cancer) granted with US FDA IND.
  • Nepal gets $8 million from UN peace building fund. This funding will used for the activities such as mobile health camps, health services inside the cantonments.
  • Cordillera (Philippines) administrative region children to receive free rotavirus vaccination.
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Children with Intestinal and Liver Disorders (CH.I.L.D) create Canadian Children Inflammatory Bowel Disease Network.

Research

  • A study published in Lancet describes a treatment option for the people living with HIV/AIDS. The quad pill includes an integrase inhibitor, which is meant to stop the virus from replicating.
  • A study published in the Journal of AIDS confirms that the Shang Ring is safe to use and demonstrates that men should exceed the recommended timing for removing the device. This requires only one visit for the procedure and it stays in place for 7 days after the procedure.
  • According to a recent study the pregnant women in Lilongwe and Malawi need to be informed of their increased risk for HIV and the importance of using condoms throughout pregnancy and the postpartum.
  • A study conducted by the New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has found that children’s intake of iodine has significantly improved since the mandatory bread fortification policy.
  • A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Biological Sciences and Mechanobiology Institute have discovered how a drug – Lead compound- can deprive cancer cells of energy and stop them from growing tumor. This drug-lead compound is named BPTES.
  • According to a study, expectant mothers who dealt with the strain of a hurricane or major tropical storm passing nearby during their pregnancy had children who were at elevated risk of abnormal health conditions at birth.

Diseases & Disasters

  • Strong earthquake (of magnitude 6.6) rocks China’s far-western frontier. About 34 people are reported to be injured.
  • Earthquake of 3.4 magnitude strikes Morgan Hill about 12 miles from San Martin and 15 miles from San Jose City Hall.
  • Household air pollution in Laos fuels pneumonia. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) noted that 1,200 of the 1,777 deaths could be directly attributed to solid fuel use.
  • Floods by the water of river Brahmaputra in the state of Assam (India) has caused death of 35 people. 11 lakh people are left stranded.
  • 350,000 marooned in flooding of river Brahmaputra in Bangladesh.
  • The Ministry of Health (Singapore) said microspordial spores are common in Singapore soil.

 

 

 

Global Health News Last Week

SECTION NEWS
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 pffreeman@gmail.com or 773.318.4842.


POLITICS AND POLICY

PROGRAMS

  • 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.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

  • 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.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • 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.

Sun, Sea and Sanitation – APHA 2008 in San Diego

By Isobel Hoskins

A visiting UK editor’s impressions of the APHA conference….

I didn’t attend that many scientific sessions at APHA this year, being preoccupied with meetings about Global Health database and visiting exhibitors in the vast exhibition but those I did go to seemed to keep bringing up sanitation and hygiene as the key to so much disease prevention. Its really part of next years’ theme, Water and Health.

First, the speech by the US Assistant Secretary for Health Joxel Garcia reminded us that the major impacts on public health last century in the developed world were achieved by vaccines and sanitation. I was thinking- is enough effort now being applied to doing this for the developing world? Or are more glamorous projects getting the money. The Millenium Development Goal for sanitation is apparently behind where it should be. Continue reading “Sun, Sea and Sanitation – APHA 2008 in San Diego”