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 vision of Children’s Global Health Initiative (CGHI) is to enable sustainable global health for children and their communities through education, training, clinical care and translational research.
Global Health TV travels to Phu Tho in Northern Vietnam to take a look at a new study by CGHI to improve nutrition for pregnant women by providing them with locally made, high protein food supplements.
This announcement may be of particular interest to those of you interested in reproductive and/or maternal health.
Women Deliver has been running a series of blog posts addressing the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. A number of experts have offered thoughts on a global framework for health after the MDGs. Now is your chance to add to the discussion as Women Deliver is hosting an online discussion starting next week to address reproductive and maternal health:
With the deadlines for the Millennium Development Goals and the International Conference on Population and Development’s Program of Action fast approaching, Women Deliver is calling on the entire reproductive and maternal health community—from policymakers to health workers to advocates—to participate in an online discussion to shape the future of our field. Join this critical global conversation at www.knowledge-gateway.org/womendeliver and weigh in on where we are, where we need to be, and how we need to get there.
This means taking stock of lessons learned, challenges ahead, and tackling the critical question: What will—and what must—happen to the MDGs and ICPD after 2015? Through a series of weekly, e-mail-based discussions, you will have the chance to share your thoughts, experience, and views on specific questions, like the effectiveness of global versus regional MDG targets, the role of civil society in shaping development goals, and the appropriate maternal and reproductive health indicator of tomorrow.
The forum will be open from November 7th to November 23rd, so be sure to make your voice heard!
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.
The IH Section hosted its third topic-focused conference call, on Current Developments in MCNH, took place on Monday, June 27, 2011 from 1:00 to 2:00 EST. We had several members of the IH section offer their commentary and expertise on current issues concerning maternal and child health. Speakers included Laura Altobelli, Elvira Beracochea, Carol Dabbs, Miriam Labbock, and Mary Anne Mercer. Read the summary here.
IH Section Communications Chair Jessica Keralis attended APHA’s Mid-Year Meeting on healthcare reform. There were several interesting sessions on technology implications of reform, the public health workforce, advocacy, and others. Read all about it on the IH Blog.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- In the first part of a two-part series called “The great billion dollar drug scam,” investigative journalist Khadija Sharife questions the accuracy of figures given by the pharmaceutical industry to justify the high cost of drugs.
- The American Chronicle reports how Brazil has been implementing numerous programs to reduce the rate of HIV infection within the country.
- At the 7th annual meeting of the World Conference of Science Journalists, several speakers said clinical research trials done in the developing world lack adequate patient protections as well as an ethical and legal framework.
- Arizona State University Scientists have developed recombinant attenuated salmonella vaccines which they believe will make vaccines more effective.
- A test for dengue through saliva has been developed by researchers from Singapore.
- Researchers believe that they have discovered the precise mechanism by which drugs attack and beat malaria. In doing so, they believe that they can gain a more precise understanding of how resistances are forming and develop better malaria medicines.
- A recently published report on research and development by the Malaria Research Initiative examines the current state of malaria research and offers six recommendations in going forward to improve R&D.
- A dramatic increase in support for malaria R&D since the mid-1990s puts the world well on the way to achieving global malaria control, treatment and elimination goals in the next five to six years.
- A study has found that AIDS patients who take nucleoside analog reverse-transcriptase inhibitors experience premature aging.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- The WHO has put together a series of graphs based on 2008 global health data to illustrate the 10 leading causes of death by broad income group. Heart disease, stroke and other cerebrovascular disease represent the top two killers in middle and high-income nations while they sit as number three and five respectively for low-income countries.
- A report published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the CDC, has determined that UN peacekeepers from Nepal brought cholera to Haiti, which led to an outbreak last fall.
- More than 350,000 women die in childbirth every year and 8 million children will die of preventable diseases before their fifth birthday. A new report concludes that more trained midwives could help save prevent millions of such deaths.
- In a recently released report, UNICEF says as many as 70% of the world’s children are exposed to violence amounting to 1.5 billion children each year.
- The drug misoprostol is saving women’s lives around the world by preventing excessive bleeding after childbirth, the leading cause of maternal death in the developing world; it is also causing controversy, as the drug can also be used to induce abortion.
- Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is on the rise and hard to cure. Médecins Sans Frontières wants people with the disease to blog about it, to find out what they really need.
- A new study in The Lancet shows that over the past thirty years the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has doubled to 350 million.
- Ghana’s Food and Drugs Board (FDB) issued a statement to warn the public against the sale of counterfeit Artesunate tablets on the market, which it claims are from China; laboratory analysis had confirmed that contained no active anti-malaria ingredient.
Many thanks, as usual, to the Toms – Tom Murphy and Tom Paulson.