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.

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-up

Politics and Policies:

  • U.S. Court rules controversial stem cell research as legal.
  • U.S. Court ruled that cigarette companies do not need to show graphic warning images.
  • The Food and Drug Administration U.S. (FDA) Department of Health is enforcing stricter inspection of food imported from Japan since March 14 last year in response to the radiation leak incident at Fukushima nuclear power plant.
  • UK government wants hospitals to expand overseas.
  • UK government will spend £2m to tackle cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone.

Programs:

  • Nigeria receives U.S. $225million from Global Fund to prevent and treat malaria.
  • Bill Gates has launched a search of a new toilet suited for developing countries- to avoid deaths and diseases due to poor living conditions.
  • Vietnam puts locally-made medical waste incinerator into operation. It has a capacity of 30-50 kilos of medical waste per hour.
  • Planned Parenthood launches new initiative in U.S. to fight breast cancer. It will use $3 million donations for its breast health initiative- screenings and education.

 Research:

  • Researchers at National Institutes of Health have identified rare immune disease in Asian people like HIV. This disease has been named as adult-onset immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • Scientists have created a drug using eggs of a pig parasite to treat chronic debilitating conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
  • Researchers from the Stanford University have collaborated to synthesize and study grid-like array of short pieces of a disease-associated protein on silicon chips to identify patients with a particularly severe form of autoimmune disease lupus.
  • According to a study blood type of a person can determine his/ chances of getting a disease.
  • Scientists say that the children born to older men are at a greater risk of genetic disorders.
  • According to a study thiabendazole a common antifungal drug decreases tumor growth and also a potential medicine in cancer therapy.
  • In a new study scientists said that a three year old can easily find whether you are whining or upset.
  • In a recent research scientists did some laboratory tests which showed that within five hours of application of extracts from a plant known as virgin’s mantle (medicinal tea) growth of cancer cells was arrested and they died within 24 hours.
  • According to some scientists chemicals in lipsticks, toothpastes and face washes might cause heart and muscle problems.
  • Researchers at University of Pennsylvania are using nanofibers to develop biomaterials.
  • Scientists have learned to harness power from bacteria eating virus.
  • According to a research aging heart cells can be rejuvenated by modified stem cell therapy.
  • According to a team of Israeli scientists smoking can prevent progress of degenerative disease (- Parkinson’s).
  • A national study done in Australia is attempting new ways for the treatment of melanoma. It will map all common gene mutations.
  • Researchers in Melbourne find key to rare diseases which cause birth defects like DiGeorge syndrome.
  • According to the scientists ovarian cancer patients should improve their lifestyle to improve their survival rates and quality of life.
  • Researchers have found that stones in gall bladder in teens are due their overweight problem.
  • In a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), the villagers of Amazon have antibodies to rabies which suggests that disease may not be 100% fatal.

Diseases & Disasters:

  •  Cholera epidemic spreads through coastal slums of West Africa. Contagious disease has killed hundreds of people.
  • Refinery explosion in Venezuela on Saturday killed 24 people and injured many.
  • Tropical Storm Isaac hits Haiti, killing 3 people. South Florida on alert.
  • Ebola outbreak in Congo related to contact with infected individuals and consumption of bushmeat.
  • Record spike in West Nile virus cases in U.S.
  • Rs. 1 billion uncertified medicine scam unearthed in Sindh. These uncertified medicines were not certified by the central or potential drug laboratories they were potential danger to lives of people.
  • Uncollected garbage on the streets of Metro Manila has concerned agencies as a potential source of outbreak of diseases.
  • Swine flu cases have been confirmed in Lucknow, India.
  • Floods in India and Pakistan have killed dozens of people.
  • Japan nuclear plant leakage caused mutation in butterflies though no such reports for humans.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • National HIV testing day is Wednesday.

Politics and Policies

  • Health care proposal gives Louisiana more Medicaid spending flexibility.
  • Azerbaijan can prohibit abortion.

Programs

  • U.S. forces support anti-malaria health campaign in Africa.
  • Commonwealth to tackle non-communicable disease in West Africa. Meetings will explore plans to deal with NCD’s such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases.
  • Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan have teamed up with researchers in Ethiopia and Kenya in the two innovative projects to help deliver safer and more nutritious food in Africa through better plant breeding and soil management and a state-of-art vaccine for cattle.
  • McCann Health pledges to help end preventable child deaths; joins USAID’s new public-private partnership. It has announced $5 million commitment of in-kind resources and technical assistance to accelerate progress towards ending this problem.
  • United Nations and its partners have made a global appeal for $1.6 billion to provide humanitarian relief to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Gambia and Senegal.
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office in Gambia has recently supported the government of Gambia to respond to the severe malnutrition of children, by providing highly nutritious products.
  • DHL (Gambia office) donates 150 cartons of long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINS) to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as a part of contribution towards the fight against malaria in this country.
  • The government and donors have finalized plans for a Sh400 million cancer treatment and chronic diseases center in Eldoret (Kenya).
  • Council of Ministers in South Sudan has approved U.S. $173 million to construct 100 health units.
  • The Global Fund has resumed support to Zambia with a $100 million grant to help the country to fight AIDS.
  • India to receive Rs 20 crore healthcare grant from Norway to improve rural health services to further reduce child and maternal mortality.
  • Recall stops New Zealand tuberculosis vaccinations.

Research

  •  The scientists from the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories at the Institute of Metabolic Science, UK, have found the genes responsible for a disease in which parts of the body grow disproportionately. They found this disorder was linked to a mutation that drives cell growth.
  • According to recent study done by the researchers from Glasgow outdoor physical activities like walking, running, biking had a 50 percent greater positive effect on mental health than going to gym. They found that the activities through green space lowered the stress level.
  • A study published recently describes the biodiversity and epidemiology of drug-susceptible and drug-resistant tuberculosis in Ibadan, Nnewi and Abuja, using 409 DNAs extracted from culture positive TB isolates.
  • A research published in BMC Public Health by the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine indicates global weight gain more damaging than rising numbers. They say if the increasing levels of fatness are replicated globally it could mean the equivalent of an extra billion people on the planet.
  • A study brings forward unwanted pregnancy and associated factors among the pregnant married women in Hosanna town in Southern Ethiopia.
  • A survey named as ‘Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance among Migrant Female Sex Workers in Nairobi’ indicates that female sex workers from Somalia have a little knowledge about the deadly HIV/AIDS.
  • A new research at MIT could improve the ability of untrained workers to perform basic ultrasound tests, while allowing trained workers to much more accurately track the development of mental conditions such as the growth of a tumor or the buildup of plaque in arteries.
  • A study indicated that the oral health status of patients with mental disorders in Southwest Ethiopia is poor. There is a need to impart education about the oral hygiene to them.
  • A study shows how easily pandemic H5N1 bird flu could evolve. Their main conclusion was that this virus can acquire the ability of aerosol transmission between mammals. Mutations as low as 5 (but certainly less than 10) are sufficient to make H5N1 virus airborne.
  • A study reveals that the teens that spend more time indoors in front of screens are more likely to feel lonely and shy, while those who spend their time outdoors are much happier.
  • Study shows that the genetically modified cows produce healthier milk. This milk can be consumed by the lactose intolerant people. One more study shows that this milk contains healthy fat like that found in fishes. Chinese have produced this milk which has same properties as human breast milk.
  • A study suggests that cauterization of a peculiar population of stem-like sells in a part of cervix when infected by human papilloma virus can be a method of prevention of this deadly infection.
  • A team of scientists in Singapore have discovered a human antibody that can kill the dengue virus within two hours.
  • According to a study, to reduce the diabetes risk we should eat slowly.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Two fatal cases of Vibrio vulnificus infection investigated in Hong Kong.