Politics and Policies
- The US federal government has awarded Iowa $7 million to prepare a computerized system that will help the small businesses and individuals to find affordable coverage. (Source: http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2011/11/29/feds-give-state-7-million-for-insurance-exchange-planning/ )
- US federal agency has rejected Indiana’s bid for an exemption from federal health care. (Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57332830/feds-reject-ind-request-for-health-care-exemption/ )
- The House of Delegates, at its interim meeting in November, directed the AMA to use screening tools from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and others to identify the patients likely to abuse prescription drugs. (Source: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/11/28/prsd1128.htm )
- From December 7-9, 2011, Kenya will hold its first national human resources for health conference which will avail a platform for placing health as a priority in the health strategy and national development towards vision 2030. The theme of the conference will be “Renewing commitment to the health workforce towards achievement of MDGs and vision 2030”. (Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201111291193.html )
- AstraZeneca Canada Inc., in partnership with mindyourbody and Physical and Health Educators (PHE) of Canada, together with the active involvement of the youth, has organized a program in Ontario, Canada. It is focused on improving the mental health and emotional well-being of vulnerable adolescents. (Source: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/505390 )
- The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be posting no smoke signs within 15 feet of bus stops in Austin, Texas, beginning from February 1st 2012 to prevent the non-smokers from inhaling the secondhand smoke. (Source: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/opinion/2011/11/28/capmetros-policy-breath-fresh-air )
- A recent study done by Dr. Avi Dor, professor in the Department of Health Policy at the GW School of Public Health and Health Services indicates a need to develop policies to encourage medication compliance which will lead to cost savings through healthcare system in the long run. (Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/higher-patient-adherence-to-disease-modifying-therapies-reduced-costs-for-ms-patients )
- An invitation for the bid for consultant on public health authorities’ activities with the aim to protect the environment has been issued by the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan. (Source: http://abc.az/eng/news_29_11_2011_60039.html )
Diseases and Disasters
These headlines were compiled by Vani Nanda, MPH Candidate at West Chester University PA.
Attention IH section members! We are still in need of moderators for the scientific sessions at this year’s annual meeting. According to our program committee, the following sessions are still available:
Monday, October 31
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: International Health Programs & Policy 1
2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Act Global, Think Local: Domestic applications of international health lessons; Child Survival & Child Health 1
Tuesday, November 1
8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Builidng Partnerships and Coalitions for better International Programs; Emerging, Re-emerging & Neglected Tropical Diseases
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: International Health Communication/ Behavior Change Communication
12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m.: HIV/AIDS 2
Wednesday, November 2
8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: HIV/AIDS 3; Innovations in International Health 2
Please contact Omar Khan (email@example.com) for more information, or to volunteer!
USAID celebrated its 50-year anniversary this week.
The benefits of breastfeeding are being showcased around the world
for Breast Feeding Week.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- US organizations will find it easier to deliver aid to parts of Somalia controlled by a pro-Al Qaeda group – the threat of prosecution if it ends up in the wrong hands has been reduced after an announcement by the State Department.
- Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez was sworn in as the new Assistant Administrator for the Global Health Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
- Although Congress resolved the debt ceiling debate, the way the budget package is being shaped — particularly by combining International Affairs with defense in a single “security” category, global poverty spending is getting severely handicapped.
- Blood tests for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis may be putting patients’ lives at risk through providing misleading results, and should not be used, according to a WHO policy statement.
- The inaugural charter of the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders was signed at Temple University yesterday.
- Tom Paulson of Humanosphere breaks down the 2010 Gates Foundation annual report, with some interesting commentary.
- Jaclyn Schiff of UN Dispatch says we can look for more global health leadership coming from the city of Houston (my hometown!), as Dr. Peter Hotez, whom Schiff calls “an international health force of nature,” and an arm of the Sabin Vaccine Institute move there.
- The Measles Initiative today announced it has helped vaccinate one billion children in more than 60 developing countries since 2001, making significant gains in the global effort to stop measles.
- India’s health minister announced Tuesday a new initiative underway to boost the country’s rate of immunizing newborns by collecting mobile phone numbers of all pregnant mothers to monitor their babies’ vaccinations.
- A multi-resistant strain of Salmonella Kentucky could be spreading globally, suggests a study by Institut Pasteur. Case numbers have risen in Europe and the US, and infections have also been acquired in various parts of Africa and the Middle East. The strain has also been found in food animals in Africa.
- Pharmaceutical manufacturer iBio, Inc announced the successful animal testing of a malaria vaccine candidate in trials sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- A new study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene shows a relationship between a kind of river flow and cholera outbreaks.
- A new study in the Lancet shows that text messaging can be an effective tool in malaria treatment and prevention.
- PLoS Medicine published a new study on HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa. Among its key findings was the startling fact that sex between men (MSM) accounts for nearly one quarter of all new HIV infections across the region.
- According to a new study, children of depressed mothers in developing countries are 40 percent more likely to be underweight or stunted than those with mothers in good mental health.
- A cheap and portable blood test could provide a breakthrough for diagnosing infections in remote areas of the world, a scientific study says.
- Using WHO data, researchers found that children who experience abuse and develop mental health disorders are at increased risk for chronic physical problems later in life.
- A new study in the journal Nature Medicine finds that a credit card shaped device used for testing HIV, known as “Lab-on-a-Chip,” has had a successful trial run in Rwanda.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- Mass treatment of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis with ivermectin has been hampered by severe reactions if the patient also has Loa loa. A new map developed by WHO’s African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control will help communities identify low risk areas for Loa loa and distribute ivermectin for lymphatic filariasis control safely.
- The CDC reports that the annual number of HIV infections in the USA is holding steady at about 50,000, and that African American MSM are at particular risk.
- AIDS remains a metaphor for inequality, argues Michel Sidibe in the LA Times. In the world’s wealthier nations, where access to medicine is widespread, AIDS is becoming a chronic disease rather than a death sentence. But in the eveloping world, 1.8 million people die of AIDS each year.
- Global cholera incidence has increased since 2000, with Haiti’s large outbreak tipping the largest burden away from Africa for the first time since 1995, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday.
- Tens of thousands of Somalis have died and more than half-a-million children are on the brink of starvation. Western aid isn’t flowing to where the worst of the famine is — partly due to the “war on terror.”
- The head of World Food Program in Ethiopia says the country’s emergency food stocks are almost gone, the latest trouble caused by the drought in the Horn of Africa.
TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING – Apparently Hollywood has discovered its next Greg Mortenson: Sam Childers, the “Machine Gun Preacher,” is the subject of much hubbub and an upcoming movie starring Gerard Butler. This man claims to have been a gangbanger and drug dealer who found Jesus and then took up arms to rescue child soldiers from the LRA. Global health blogger Brett Keller offers some commentary into Childers’ outlandish (and, frankly, dubious) story, while anonymous aid blogger “J” at Tales from the Hood has a few choice words.
Inka Weissbecker of the International Medical Corps talks to Global Health TV about addressing mental health needs around the world, particularly in areas of humanitarian crisis.
APHA’s 2011 Section elections are coming up soon! Online voting will open on May 16 and ends on June 20. Section members should receive an e-mail on May 16 (next Monday) which will include:
- Your online election validation number
- Your APHA membership ID number
- Voting instructions
- A direct link to your voting Web site
All you have to do is click on the direct link and VOTE!
APHA’s Trade and Health Forum has released its first newsletter! The Forum has established a quarterly APHA Trade & Health Forum Newsletter that includes brief reports from forum members regarding recent work and analyses of issues related to trade and health, as well as announcements for trade and health advocacy opportunities and events. The first spring issue can be viewed here (PDF).
David Sencer, the longest-serving director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and one of the leaders of the U.S. contribution to the smallpox campaign, passed away at age 86 on May 2.
May 5 was International Day of the Midwife.
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have joined forces to assist Asia Pacific countries in identifying priority actions for dengue prevention and control.
- On May 11, dozens of countries around the world will kick off the first global Decade of Action for Road Safety, from 2011-2020.
- Starting last week, China’s Ministry of Health is strengthening its tobacco rules to require 28 types of businesses, including bars, coffee shops, hotels and stadiums to become 100 percent smoke-free.
- After a sensationalistic (and rather silly) report from the AP on corruption and graft, the Global Fund has assembled a high-level panel of independent experts to assess the risk of fraud in the current portfolio. The review should be concluded by mid-September
- Sri Lanka commemorated 100 years of its National Malaria Control Program, which has brought the death toll from malaria from 80,000 per year to 0, on May 5. In 2010, only 684 cases of malaria were reported in the country.
- Health officials in India have taken up a pilot project at taluka places to identify areas with less number of institutional deliveries to bring down maternal deaths.
- UNICEF has found that boreholes drilled in response to the Zimbabwe cholera outbreak in 2008 have not been adequately supported by the government in Harare.
- USAID announced that it will be launching a $10 million mobile health program which will deliver information and tips to mothers via SMS.
- Protease inhibitors used to treat patients with HIV looks to provide an effective treatment to malaria as well and are being hailed as ‘superdrugs.’
- Headaches are the most common health disorders across the world, yet they remain neglected and under-treated, according to a UN study.
- Researchers warn that East African plants that could cure malaria could disappear before scientists have a chance to study them.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
Thanks, as usual, to the Healthy Dose and Humanosphere.