Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The Health Protection Agency (HPA) (England) has warned heroin users that the drug may be contaminated with anthrax spores.
  • The New York health board approves ban on large sodas. It is a move to combat obesity and encourage people to live healthier lifestyles.
  • New circumcision law by the state of New York to prevent the spread of Herpes infection to the child.
  • Norway upholds ban to display of tobacco products in shops as a measure to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


  • Early childhood health projects by PATH, in South Africa and Mozambique is funded by a donation of R200m by BHP Billi4on.
  • A memorandum of Understanding was signed by Apollo Hospitals with AfroIndia Medical Services to set up 30 telemedicine units in East and West Africa.
  • UC Davis center to fight child obesity in Latinos.  $4.8 million study funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture aims at identifying effective approaches to combat this growing problem among them.


  • According to a study nicotine not only in cigarettes but in nicotine replacement products like gum or patches harms sperm.
  • A study found that South African wine is good for heart. It protects against heart attack by reducing cell death and increasing contractility of heart.
  • A survey shows that about two thirds of men in Indonesia above the age of fifteen years smoke. It also revealed that large numbers of people are also exposed to the second hand smoke in work, home and in public places.
  • According to a study, mothers of Mexican origin are more nurturing than white females.
  • According to a charity drink related harm costs Scotland’s councils £2bn annually. The figures are based in Scottish government data.
  • A research study showed that lung transplant approval rates depend on the socioeconomic status of people.
  • According to the researchers at the University of Kentucky academic success of Latino immigrants is dependent on the school teachers and its climate.
  • In a study done by Cornell University researchers it was found that parents immigrants status affect their access to care and hence their children’s health.
  • A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism states that swim training with healthy diet play a crucial role in fighting against cancer.
  • A research done by University of Michigan Medical School showed that it is possible for the people who are not able to smell things will be able to do so by gene therapy.
  • Massachusetts engineers have found a way to increase the permeability of skin to drugs using the ultrasound waves.
  • According to a study analgesics commonly used to relieve pain may cause hearing loss in females.
  • According to the researchers at Seoul National University in South Korea, Er:YAG laser microjet transdermal device could replace needle jab.
  • According to a study job strain might affect cardiovascular health.
  • A study showed that acupuncture works for head and neck pain, osteoarthritis and chronic headaches.
  • According to World Socialist Web Site UK politicians gain from privatizing National Health Service.
  • Scientists find insulin sensitivity gene, may lead to new diabetes treatments.
  • Scientists in Ohio have created artificial memory in brain tissue, in vitro for the first time.
  • According to a study, intrauterine exposure of nicotine either passive or active might affect the neurobehavioral development of infants.
  • A study showed that the Electronic Health Records Data (EHR) for research is often incomplete, inaccurate and unreliable.
  • A study found that peanut allergies are rising among the people of developed nations.
  • A study showed that healthy diet and lifestyle not only affects the growth of a tumor but also its metastasis.
  • A study found that traditional Chinese medicinal mushroom can help to cure cancer.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • Chinese health authorities are investigating whether children were tested for genetically modified (GMO) rice as a part of a Sino-U.S. research project.
  • Chicken pox outbreak reported in South Malawi (Africa). The health authorities have instructed to close schools to prevent the spread of this disease.
  • KwaZulu Natal (South Africa) Department of Health in crises.
  • Nearly half of Indonesians live without sanitation, clean water. Country’s health minister says it requires $5.9 Billion USD to improve access to sanitation and clean water.
  • The National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service (Mexico) said that the country’s poultry farmers slaughtered 22.3 million birds between June and August to stop the outbreak of avian flu.
  • Nepali workers in Malaysian palm industry face health risk caused by pesticides. They spray it without using any safety equipment’s.
  • The staff work in emergency department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Lambert (Scotland).
  • Eight infants were exposed to tuberculosis in a hospital in California. According to the health officials it’s unlikely that they will contact the disease.
  • Tewksbury’s West Nile Virus risk rose to ‘High’ by Massachusetts.
  • Superbug kills 7th person in Maryland National Institute of Health Clinical Center.


Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • U.S. task force has issued blood pressure guidelines.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives less-expensive option, approves first generation versions of Plavix (blood thinners).
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered forbidding the state dental board to restrict non-dentists from the teeth whitening services in Richmond, Va. According to AMA this decision might change medical practice regulation.
  • U.S. says Medicaid overpaid $ 700 M to New York State.
  • Missouri legislators have agreed to compromise on the debate over insurance coverage of contraception, abortion and sterilization.
  • The FDA advisory committees have endorsed two new HIV drugs and an arthritis drug.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services has announced a two-year pay boost for the primary care physicians who treat Medicaid patients.
  • According to the guidelines released on Wednesday, states should submit  details to the Federal government by November 16th on how they will run online insurance market places.
  • The ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure developed by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in collaboration with the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC was launched at the Heart Failure Congress 2012, 19-22 May, in Belgrade, Serbia. These are published in the European Heart Journal.
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) is warning the public not to consume the Gills Onion brand Fresh Diced Red Onions because the product might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
  • As a part of e-health initiatives to improve primary health services in rural and underdeveloped areas, the union health ministry of India has given Rs 18.878 crore to states to facilitate establishment of Telemedicine network.


  • The Parsons Foundation gives $5million to fight HIV/AIDS in Arizona.
  • UAE school children to learn the benefits of milk in a month-long nationwide campaign. It will target first-grade students.
  • The CMS innovation center awarded 26 grants to a variety of healthcare organizations. The purpose is to improve the healthcare delivery.
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) disclosed that its Philippines office has raised $28.5 M funds in the year till date. This money will be used to promote reproductive and maternal health- one of the country’s Millennium Development Goals.


  • According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, people who have bachelor’s degree or higher live about nine years longer than those who don’t graduate from the high school.
  • Besides urinary tract health benefits, a new study confirmed Cranberry’s benefits in boosting body’s immunity. The study also showed that consuming its juice significantly increased the levels of an important antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD).
  • A study indicates that the artificial sweeteners might cause inflammatory bowel disease.  They contain saccharin and sucralose which decrease the gut bacteria and weaken and destroy the gut barrier.
  • A research study found genes which connect football, military and Alzheimer’s disease together.
  • Chilean berry (maqui berry) extract might help to fight type-2 diabetes. The study shows that the anthocyanin’s- delphinidin 3-sambobioside-5-glucoside (D3S5G)-demonstrated insulin-like effects in muscles and liver cells in mice.
  • A study demonstrates the long-term effectiveness of a classroom-based prevention program targeting teen drug use. This study tracked teens that participated in the Bolvin Life Skills Training (LST) program as 7th graders and found that their participation in this program produced long lasting reduction in drug use 12 years later.
  • A study reveals that the healthcare law would save consumers nearly $300 per year. The research says that the saving will be even greater for the people between ages of 55 and 64.
  • According to a new governmental analysis, the foods which come under category of non-healthy food are more costly than the healthy food.
  • According to an 18-month long study conducted by the Rand Corp, about 96% of restaurant entrees exceed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat.
  • Healthy dieting in pregnancy may be helpful. Study reveals that up to 40% of women gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy. This excess weight is associated with a number of problems.
  • According to a study, mental distraction can help in relieving pain. The findings show that this isn’t just a mental process, but also physical mechanism that reduces the amount of pain signals travelling from the spinal cord to the brain.
  • An analysis done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveal the rate of current cigarette use among the U.S. teens decreased from nearly 12 percent in 2004 to about 8 percent in 2010.
  • A study indicates a possible risk between certain sunscreens use and chances of development of endometriosis. The chemicals known as benzophenone-type UV filters not only protect the skin from UV rays but they are easily absorbed into the blood stream and mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen.
  • A study examining the sleeping behaviors of the parents whose children suffer from epilepsy say that they often lose sleep over child’s epilepsy.
  • A new U.S. study finds that government workplace safety inspections reduce on-the-job injuries and related costs without hurting company profits.
  • A study done on mice show that though it’s important what we eat but also when we eat. The scientists suggest eating too many hours a day may also contribute to obesity.
  • Harvard university researchers say that the bad fat may affect brain memory.


Diseases & Disasters

  • A moderate earthquake rattled an area in east Texas on May 17th. It had a magnitude of 4.3.
  • A maginitude-6.2 earthquake shook down walls and knocked out electricity in parts of far-northern Chile on Monday, May 14th, 2012.
  • Cluster of Influenza A cases in Castle Peak Hospital in Hong Kong.
  • Kenya is facing BCG vaccine shortage.
  • The water supply to tens of thousands of households near Tokyo was cut off on Saturday after local checks found it was contaminated with cancer causing chemical- Formaldehyde. A contamination of 0.2000 milligrams of formaldehyde per liter – more than two times the 0.80 milligram national limit- was detected.