IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • May 31 was observed as World anti-tobacco day by the World Health Organization.
  • The Fitness Industry Council Canada has announced June 1 as National Health and Fitness Day.

Politics and Policies:

  • The Republic of Congo has passed a law that prohibits the purchase, consumption and possession of tobacco for minors, pregnant women and mentally ill. The advising and any kind of promotion of tobacco are also prohibited in the country. Smoking is prohibited in public places.
  • According to the World Health Organization On June 10th Ethiopia is launching an emergency mass-vaccination campaign against yellow fever.
  • According to the Ghana’s Minister of Health, the country is committed to ban all forms of tobacco advertisements and promotions.
  • Smoking in presence of children equaled to physical violence in Latvia.
  • Russia’s smoking ban came into effect on Saturday. It involves no smoking in public places and curbing cigarette advertising and sales.


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) in Gambia is launching polio campaign to vaccinate 400,000 children under five years.
  • The Ministry of Finance of Lesotho has signed two agreements totaling $17 million with the Global Fund to fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
  • Professionals for Humanity International (PROFOH) have announced its third free medical screening in this year in Nigeria.
  • After the discovery of polio this week, United Nations emergency team rushes to vaccinate 424,000 people living in a refugee camp in Kenya.
  • Zimbabwe is going to conduct its first national tuberculosis prevalence survey with an objective to determine the national prevalence of bacteriologically-confirmed pulmonary TB among people aged 15 and over.
  • Rotary India extends its help to Pakistan in its polio vaccination drive.
  • The World Health Organization is calling on the countries to ban advertising about the tobacco products.


  • Improvement of maternal health and reduction in child mortality in some countries was highlighted in a recently released report ‘Accountability for Maternal, newborn and Child Survival ‘.
  • According to the director of the National Institute of Combat of HIV (INLS), the prevalence of HIV in Angola has not changed since 1997.
  • According to the researchers patients who have developed oral cancer due to HPV can have sex with their spouses or long term partners.
  • According to a study done by the researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, rates of diabetes have jumped 15 fold within a decade for the Chinese Canadians.
  • A systemic review confirms that the licensed medicines for smoking cessation are successful in assisting people to quit smoking.
  • Scientists are using new optics-based single virus detecting methods for determining the exact viral load of a sample by counting individual virus sample.
  • New malaria vaccine developed by the team Japanese researchers has cut the infection rates by 72%.
  • A study conducted in over 13 hospitals in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam shows that doubling Tamiflu vaccine dose does not help in severe flu.
  • Results of a study warn development of resistance to drug used in treatment of H7N9 virus.
  • A group of scientists discover how a single gene mutation helps brain cancer cells to survive and drive tumor growth.
  • According to the United Nations scientists, Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant has very low radiation doses and there is no increased risk of cancer on local residents.
  • According to the experts nearly one-sixth of young adults in Sri Lanka are overweight. Lack of nutrition education and food culture of the country are reasons for this problem.
  • A study states that particular combination of bacteria in the human digestive system can identify patients who have or are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
  • A study shows that the Coenzyme Q10 cuts the mortality rate by half in heart failure patients.
  • Report released by EU says that several new health risks are emerging from new chemicals, products and changing lifestyle patterns. It is important to address these issues all together.
  • According to a study fizzy drinks do harm to the teeth as drugs.
  • New vaccine for lung cancer has been developed by the scientists of Argentina and Cuba. It activates the body’s immune system to promote its destruction.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • Tornadoes hit Oklahoma again on 1st June. Death toll rises to 9.
  • A report issued by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources state that the ground water of China is poisoned. It did not address the severity and scope of this problem.
  • Death toll from bird flu has risen to 38 in China.
  • According to the reports of the United Nations, there is a suspected outbreak of Ebola fever in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • According to the reports by Ghana Health Service, cholera outbreak hits greater Accra region.
  • The World Health Organization is concerned about the new strain of Coronavirus which has killed 55 of the confirmed cases.
  • A Starbucks in Hong Kong used water from the public restroom to brew coffee.
  • Pakistan is facing a severe measles epidemic. Since the start of 2013 about 239 deaths have been reported.
  • According to the Ministry of Health, Philippines, new cases of HIV infections recorded in the month of April were 388. It was 67 percent higher than those recorded in April 2012.
  • According to the reports Singapore is facing Dengue epidemic. More than 7,700 people are reported to be infected as of May 25.
  • Frozen berry and pomegranate mix has been reported to be linked to hepatitis A outbreak in five states in U.S.

WHO Video: Choosing good nutrition – eLENA

This video presents eLENA – an online library of evidence-informed guidelines for an expanding list of nutrition interventions. eLENA is a single point of reference for:

– latest nutrition guidelines and recommendations
– scientific evidence supporting the guidelines
– statements on biological, behavioural and contextual rationale
– commentaries from invited experts
– related information

eLENA aims to help countries successfully implement and scale-up nutrition interventions by informing as well as guiding policy development and programme design.

More information: http://www.who.int/elena/en/

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.


  • 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)


  • 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 News Last Week


  • South Africa’s government has set out its plans to introduce a universal health care scheme with a pilot program in 10 areas by 2012 and nationally over the next 14 years.
  • The U.N. must make reducing salt intake a global health priority, sayUK scientists. Writing in the British Medical Journal they say a 15% cut in consumption could save 8.5 million lives around the world over the next decade.
  • IRIN reports on the story of Daniel Ng’etich, a Kenyan man who was arrested and jailed for not continuing his TB treatment.
  • Dr. Jill Biden is leading a high level American delegation toKenya, which includes Raj Shah, to look into the American response to the famine crisis in the Horn of Africa.
  • A report on the state of maternal health in South Africa by Human Rights Watch has uncovered some alarming trends.


  • WHO has launched a new website to help those combating malnutrition. eLENA, a new e-library, gathers together evidence-informed guidelines for an expanding list of nutrition interventions. It is a single point of reference for the latest nutrition guidelines, recommendations and related information.


  • A TB vaccine designed for those with HIV enters phase IIb trials this week in Senegal. The vaccine works by boosting response of T cells already stimulated by the traditional BCG vaccine.
  • Female smokers are more at risk for heart disease than male smokers, finds a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Lancet.  This is a concern, as smoking rates are increasing in young women worldwide.
  • Scientists are in the second phase of research into using microwaves to kill malaria parasites in mice.
  • A USC researcher has developed a lentiviral vector that can track down HIV infected cells which can potentially act as a marker for targeted elimination of infected cells.
  • People living with HIV who receive the proper ARV treatment have no greater risk of death compared to people without HIV, finds Danish researchers.
  • Around 30 genetic risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis have been discovered by a UK-led team.
  • A new study, showing that a simple blood test can accurately determine the sex of a fetus 95 percent of the time, is great news for parents at high risk of having a baby with rare genetic diseases. But it is bad news to those concerned that the tests could be used to abort a fetus based on gender.
  • British researchers have discovered that the introduction of spermless male mosquitoes can lead to fewer malaria carrying females.
  • A device which can test blood for HIV/AIDS in a matter of minutes has been developed by University of Columbia scientists.


  • As if it did not have enough problems already, Somalia is now facing cholera epidemic, World Health Organization officials said.
  • In an August 4 article, Trustlaw’s Lisa Anderson exposes the “silent health emergency” faced by child brides around the globe.  Not yet physically mature, they face grave danger in childbirth, due to narrow pelvises. Girls younger than 15 years of age have a five times greater risk of dying during delivery than women over 20; most of these deaths occur in developing countries that lack adequate and accessible pre- and postnatal care.
  • Amid contradictory government statistics, a volunteer group in Japan has recorded 500,000 radiation points across the country.
  • A Mexican teenager is the first officially known person to die from vampire bat induced human rabies infection. The 19-year-old victim was a migrant farm worker in theUnited States.
  • An estimated 500,000 people in West Africaare infected with lassa fever every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, amid calls for more money to be spent on preventing its spread.
  • Over at Global Pulse, Human Rights Watch researcher Katherine Todrys guest blogs on the HIV epidemic in Uganda’s penitentiaries.Uganda, she explains, has often been presented as a success story in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, and has received over $1 billion from the US for AIDS programs. Many HIV-positive Ugandans have been excluded from these efforts, though, including gay men, drug users, sex workers, and prisoners.
  • Sleep apnea, a fairly common and treatable disorder that causes people to stop breathing momentarily while they sleep, may lead to cognitive impairment and even dementia.
  • Although cases of sexual violence have been under-counted during some wars, during others, such as the ongoing unrest in Libya, they have been vastly over-counted.
  • All patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do two and a half hours of physical exercise every week, says a report by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Global Health TV Video: Nutrition, obesity and exercise in maternal and child health

At the 38th Annual International Conference on Global Health, four distinguished panelists — Mirta Roses Periago, Hon. Richard Visser, James Whitehead and Marc Van Ameringen — discuss the dual burden of undernutrition and obesity in developing countries.