Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

  • The United States and representatives from 16 African nations gathered on August 27-31 at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Accra, Ghana for the pandemic planning conference.
  • Ban on smoking in Public areas went into effect in Lebanon on 3rd September.
  • The German firm that produced thalidomide (taken by pregnant women to reduce morning sickness in 1950’s and early 1960’s) issued an apology to the thousands born disabled as a result of the drug use.
  • U.S. court halts some cuts for Medicaid home care.
  • Justice officials in Berlin (Germany) have laid out guidelines on Wednesday on circumcision.
  • Japan is moving towards relaxing restrictions on American beef imports which was limited because of fears about mad cow disease.

Programs

  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project has supported a $60-million initiative to improve health and nutrition status of people in Ghana especially women of child-bearing age and children less than five years.
  • The Health for All Coalition (HFAC) has launched its ‘Kick Cholera Komot Na Salone’ campaign at Tombo Park, Waterloo to eradicate cholera in Sierra Leone.
  • To improve reproductive health rights of females in Ghana, a project funded by SIMAVI, has been launched by Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) with four local non-governmental organizations (NGO’s)

Research

  • Study published in Journal of Pediatrics states that the expectant mothers who learn from prenatal diagnosis that they are carrying a fetus with a congenital heart defect commonly suffer post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety.
  • A study funded by the National Institutes of Health states that blood sugar control does not help infants and children undergoing heart surgery.
  • The researchers at North Carolina State University have shown that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) early in life results in High levels of anxiety. This is due to significant gene expression changes in a specific region of brain called the amygdala.
  • A study found that fathers who sleep in close proximity to their children have their testosterone low as compared to those who sleep alone.
  • A study found that heath care spending in last five years of life exceeds total assets for one quarter of U.S. Medicare population.
  • In a study done at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia it was found that coping skills and marital satisfaction help pregnant moms to manage stress when fetus has heart defect.
  • In a study done by the Centers of Disease Control and prevention (the CDC) it found that NFL players are at higher risk of degenerative brain disorders.
  • According to a study adding a few minutes’ attempts to resuscitate patients who suffer a heart attack in hospitalization can significantly boost their chances of survival.
  • According to a study water pipe smoking is as harmful as smoking cigarettes.
  • A study states that more than half the tumors from the cancer have mutations that might be treated by new drugs that are already in pipeline or that could be easily developed.
  • A recent study stated that more young adults have insurance after health care law.
  • A recent study showed that green tea boosts brain power. It also pointed out that it can help to fight cancer, gum disease and glaucoma.
  • According to a recent study on Swedish about women half of the women may have sleep apnea.
  • In a recent study it was found that behavioral sleep training of infants might not have long term benefits.
  • A group researchers say that people can be obese but yet physically healthy and fit. They might not be at a greater risk of any heart disease or cancer than any normal weight people.
  • A study says that sunshine Vitamin D speeds tuberculosis recovery. It states that this vitamin dampen the body’s inflammatory response, reducing damage to the lungs.
  • According to a study intense workouts might be safe for the cardiac disease patients.
  • A long term study showed that the teenagers who smoked cannabis before they reached 18 may have long lasting damage to their intelligence, memory and attention.
  • Group of researchers in their study found that regular exercise might temporarily ease cigarette carvings.
  • According to a new report Australians who smoke cigarettes are declining while the waistlines of people are growing.
  • According to a study, females who are born in South Asian nations and give birth to children in Australia have almost double the rates of still birth as compared to those who were born locally.
  • Australian researchers have found a link between marijuana smoking and testicular cancer.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Earthquake of 5.7 magnitude struck southwestern China on September 7, Friday killing at least 80 people.
  • An earthquake with 7.6 magnitude hit Costa Rica on September 5. Very little damage with only one person is reported of being dead.
  • Costa Rica was hit by an earthquake of 3.4 magnitude on September 7.
  • Tornados hit Washington DC, New York City, Queens and Brooklyn (U.S.A.). No serious injuries reported.
  • In Nigeria flood kills 137 people and displaced more than 30,000 people since the beginning of July 2012.
  • Ebola outbreak killed 15 people in Congo.
  • Three visitors to Yosemite National Park California died due to infection with potentially dangerous Hantavirus.

 

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Global Health Weekly News Round-up

Politics and Policies:

  • United Nations has urged Philippines to pass reproductive health bill. It will help to achieve its health-related targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
  • States (U.S.) sets standards for insurance exchanges.
  • The Costs for senior’s Medicare Part D premiums will remain stable.
  • Massachusetts Governor signs health care cost containment bill.
  • Medicaid official outlines state flexibility in health law’s Medicaid expansion.
  • Dementia has been added to the list of national health priority areas in Australia, following a meeting of federal and state health ministers in Sydney.
  • Uganda’s government sued over maternal healthcare.
  • Spain will modify the controversial plan to deny public healthcare to undocumented immigrants.  They would now be treated under same system used for temporary foreign visitors to Spain.

Programs:

  • A grant of 690,000 from the African Water Facility (AWF) will support Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) to build resilience to droughts through rain water harvesting management (IRHM).
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say that the HIV pill is also for people at risk of getting this deadly infection- woman, heterosexual men.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lucentis for treatment of diabetic macular edema- a life threatening eye disease that occurs in people with diabetes.
  • Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) working with the University of Colorado has embraced PartoPen and Partgraph technology to reduce maternal mortality and life threatening complications.

Research:

  • The researchers say that changing diets, urbanization and increasing sedentary lives has resulted in steep rise in obesity among many the African nations (Sub-Saharan Africa). They called it ‘thrifty gene hypotheses’.
  • According to a new study the way red meat is cooked can affect cancer risk.  It was found that men who ate more than 2.5 servings of red meat cooked by any high temperature method (broiling or grilling etc.) were 40% more likely to have advanced prostate cancer than men who rarely did so.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there is a slight drop in high school students who smoke cigarettes but sharp increase in percentage of black students who smoked cigars.
  • A recent study indicates that babies born to mothers who are overweight or obese in sub-Saharan Africa who are obese more likely die in the first two days after their birth.
  • Researchers at Duke University Health System have found a promising stem cell therapy for preventing osteoarthritis after a joint injury, using a type of stem cell, called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
  • According to a study conducted by University of Minnesota researchers investigating in quality of care for diabetic patients reduces their costs.
  • A recent research found that the breast cancer survivors with higher body fat had higher mean concentration of Serum amyloid A protein and C-reactive protein than women with lower body fat. Both of them are related to worse survival rates.
  • According to a research article planning and management instruments in healthcare area are limited in Brazil.
  • A study reconfirmed the usefulness of bendiocarb on anopheles populations (this mosquito causes malaria) resistant to pyrethroids.
  • A research study shows that percentage of exercise repetitions (by Parkinson’s disease patients) completed of those agreed with a physiotherapist in a six week personalized exercise program reduced with patient’s age but better compliance with medication was seen with age.
  • A study found that Asian females have very low prevalence of postpartum hemorrhage and compared to those of Europe.
  • Study found that the ionizing radiations might triggers mechanisms that might favor the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • According to Australian researchers persistent heavy marijuana use damages the brains memory and learning capacity.
  • In a study involving twins it was found that fainting could be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  • In a study done in Australia it was found that overqualified immigrants who are not able to find a job of their qualification after three years are likely to suffer from depression.
  • A research showed that men who did weight lifting reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • A West Nile virus epidemic has prompted a public health emergency in Dallas County in Texas. Nine people are reported to be killed by infection with this virus.
  • A 6.2 magnitude earthquake killed at least 87 people and injured 400 in northwestern Iran on Saturday (Aug, 11).
  • Typhoon Haikui struck China on Wednesday.  It has caused flooding and stranded hundreds of people.
  • Sliced apples packages distributed to fast-food and grocery chains being recalled due possible listeria contamination.
  • Queensland health authorities have rejected swine flu reports.
  • Queensland doctors are concerned with an outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease, syphilis, in states northwest.
  • Mexico kills 8 million birds infected with bird flu.
  • The CDC says 145 cases of the influenza A (H3N2) variant have been found in four United States states since mid-July. This new strain in humans continues to spread.
  • According to the CDC just one drug is left to fight against resistant Gonorrhea.

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-up

World Breastfeeding Week is from 01 August 2012 to 08 August 2012. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy makers in August 1990 to protect promote and support breastfeeding.

Politics and Policies:

  • The United Kingdom government is set to become the first country in the world to provide all children free of charge with a comprehensive flu vaccination program.
  • Ugandan health ministry says it needs Sh2 Billion to fight Ebola hemorrhagic fever.
  • Rwanda moves to close down children’s institutions and improves its childcare system.
  • Massachusetts passes Health Cost Control Bill. It aims to save $200 billion over the next 15 years by linking health care cost increases to the growth of the state’s economy.
  • Arizona delays Medicaid expansion decision.
  • International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project) launched a new report on the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Uruguay.

Programs:

  • United States Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration partner on food safety booklets to help those with compromised immune systems to prevent food borne illness.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved first generic versions of Singular to treat asthma and allergies.
  • FDA approves Zaltrap for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in adults.
  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners are scaling up efforts to reverse the ‘alarming’ rates of malnutrition, disease and death in two camps hosting Sudanese refugees in South Sudan.
  • Tullow Oil gives Sh100 million to the Uganda’s Ministry of Health to help to fight against the deadly Ebola disease.
  • The Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM) which has been housed at PATH since its inception nearly 15 years ago will close operations in September.
  • Group Health teams with hospital system in Pacific Northwest.
  • United States announces $12 million more in the Syrian humanitarian aid. The U.S. is providing food, water, medicine, clothing and hygiene kits.
  • The United Nations office has announced that North Korea needs immediate food aid due to flood.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its bulletin (online) for August.
  • Gilead Sciences inks deals with 3 Indian companies including Ranbaxy laboratories for low-cost HIV drug in developing countries.

 

 Research:

  • According to a research, diacetyl – artificial butter flavoring agent is linked to key Alzheimer’s disease process.
  • A study reveals that clusters of congenital anomalies are likely to go unnoticed due to lack of nationwide surveillance.
  • A study published in Health Care Management Review reports that mandatory individual insurance coverage in Massachusetts was followed by a significant near-term drop in hospital productivity.
  • A study suggests that there is a link between allergies and reduced risk of a serious type of cancer that starts in brain.
  • A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology demonstrates that a new drug is effective in a common kidney disease.
  • A study done by an undergraduate student, published in Analytical methods journal could lead to a simpler and more accurate way to test for prostate cancer.
  • A report published in The EMBO Journal show that intellectual disability due to Fragile X and Down syndromes involve similar molecular pathway.
  • A team of Spanish and Italian researchers in their experiment showed how the extracts from strawberry protect against ultraviolet radiation as well as increasing its viability and reducing damage to DNA.
  • Findings of a study suggest that students with strong hearts and lungs may make better grades.
  • A study published in Hepatology journal provides a new approach to treat acute liver failure.
  • A study published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics states that urban outdoor air pollution causes an estimated 1.3 million deaths per year worldwide.
  • Researchers state that certain jobs dads do are linked to higher risk of birth defects. These jobs included artists, photographer and photo processors, drivers and landscapers and grounds men.
  • A study done by the researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital state that social deprivation has a measurable effect on brain of children. They suggest that positive interventions can partially reverse these changes.
  • According to a research published in BMJ Open, restricting the amount of time spent seated every day to less than 3 hours might boost the life expectancy of US adults by 2 years.
  • According to a group of Korean researchers a significant portion of people who receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation may end up with broken ribs or other bones.
  • Researchers have found that the resins not only boost the athletic performance but also prevent DNA damage due to oxidative damage prior to strenuous activities which are linked with several types of cancer and heart disease.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • FDA warns consumers not to eat cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC of North Carolina because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (L.mono).
  • Death toll due to deadly Ebola virus is rising in Uganda. It has risen to 17. Rwanda health ministry has called upon general public not to panic.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about a new pig flu virus.
  • Flood affects life in North Korea. It has killed 170 people and about 200000 people have fled from their homes.

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

  • The Department of Health and Human Services bolsters health care and public health disaster. It has awarded more than $971 million to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a wide range of public health threats within every state, eight U.S. territories, and four of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.
  • India is completing a proposal to provide essential drugs free to patients in government-run hospitals and clinics at a cost of $5 billion over five years.
  • Rapid H.I.V. Home test wins federal approval.
  • Republican governor of Florida says state won’t expand Medicaid.

Programs

  • George W. Bush launches cancer project in Botswana. This $3 million initiative has been started to fight against cervical cancer. This project is funded by the Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and is supported by the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership.
  • A drug created at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has been deployed to fight malaria in India.
  • U.S. $124,276,000 assistance package is expected for Liberia. A new development agenda “An agenda for transformation” will focus on critical areas like education, economy, health etc.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is providing support to the treatment center in village of Wabaria, situated in Northern Mali after identification of the new cases of cholera in the village
  • La Madre de los Pobres charity reaches needy in nearly 20-plus countries.
  • New child health card and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is introduced in Zimbabwe to ensure good records of all preventive interventions like exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, calendar of immunizations and prevention of mother to child transmission.
  • International donors offer Afghanistan $16B.
  • Traditional Indian sweetener jaggery (gur) will be launched as complete health food for all age groups soon in India.

Research

  • New study maps hotspots of human-animal infectious diseases and emerging disease outbreaks like tuberculosis and Rift Valley fever.
  • Single dose radiation at the time of surgery helps women with early stage breast cancer forego 6-7 week radiation regimen.
  • Australian researchers from the Skin and Cancer Foundation have found a link between psoriasis and other diseases.
  • Research from Fourth Military Medical University yields new findings on Parkinson’s disease.
  • Researchers at the University of Minnesota School Of Public Health have found new evidence that fast food intake increases risk of diabetes and heart disease in people.
  • Zebra fish provides insights into causes and treatment of human diseases. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh are using it to study the biological mechanisms underlying human disorders and identifying potential treatment approaches for an impressive array of organ and systematic diseases.
  • Caffeine may help to lower the risk of skin cancer. The results of the study conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston suggest that it is the caffeine in coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma associated with increasing coffee consumption.
  • Amniotic fluid yields alternatives to embryonic stem cells. The scientists from Imperial College London and the UCL Institute of Child Health have succeeded in reprogramming amniotic fluid cells without having to introduce extra genes.
  • Organic tomatoes contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventional tomatoes. The researchers have shown that these tomatoes do not use not use nitrogenous fertilizers and thus they activate their own defense mechanisms resulting in increased production of all antioxidants.
  • A study conducted by a researcher at the University of Maryland has shown that the women infected with Toxoplasma gondii parasite which is spread through contact with cat feces or eating undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables, are at increased risk of attempting suicide.
  • A recent research has shown that deleting single gene results in autism-like behavior and immunosuppressant drug prevents autism symptoms. This gene is associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic condition.
  • Using a mouse model of autism, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have successfully treated an autism spectrum disorder characterized by severe cognitive impairment.
  • A team of researchers at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen are closer to understanding the biology behind GHB, a transmitter substance in the brain, best known in its synthetic form as the illegal drug fantasy.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Monsoon rains cause havoc in Bangladesh.
  • The Philippines Department of Health has instructed the Bureau of Quarantine to be on alert, following an outbreak of a fatal respiratory disease in Cambodia.
  • According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, South Sudan faces worst health crisis.
  • According to a recent report released, Fukushima disaster was man-made.

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.