Global Health Weekly News Round-up

Politics and Policies

  • Australia’s cigarette plain packaging law upheld by the government. The World Health Organization hails this decision. This ruling might be followed by other countries too.
  • New policy launched by South Africa government to restructure the current national health insurance policy faces criticisms by the citizens.
  • A new national body to lead the network of Medicare Locals has been launched in Australia.
  • The federal government of Australia has revealed its plans to remove all the asbestos from its government and federal buildings by 2030.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) baby boomers must be tested for hepatitis C.


  • Johnson & Johnson plans to remove potentially cancer-causing and other dangerous chemicals from nearly all its adult toiletries and cosmetic products within three and half years.
  • Zachary Kimotho raises Sh73 million for paraplegic center in Kenya.
  • Kenya National Hospital goes hi-tech to improve efficiency.
  • The Treatment Action Campaign in Gauteng says it will take health Department to the court to force them to deliver quality health care to citizens.
  • Drug major Cipla launched HIV/AIDS treatment kit in India at Rs 158. It consists of two tablets in one strip which represents a single day’s treatment.


  • A new ranking released by Bloomberg, Singapore has the healthiest population in the world.
  • According to the researchers eating walnuts help to improve sperm count. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins as folic acid and minerals like zinc and selenium which are important for the development of sperm.
  • A team of researchers from Italy say that coca contain flavanols which might reduce the level of dementia and help to improve cognitive functions in elderly.
  • According to a latest research chemotherapy during pregnancy is safe for the baby though baby might have low birth weight.
  • According to report male contraceptive pill might be available very soon in the near future.
  • The Australian researchers have brought before 3-D images to reveal secret life of Legionella bacteria. They have shown how this bacterium does not require a host to survive.
  • A group of U.S. researchers have used different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to scan the brain of people to understand the changes in brain with age. This research can be useful for studying the changes in brain related to autism and ADHD.
  • According to a study treatment involving exposure to traumatic memories help people with post-traumatic stress-disorder and substance abuse issues.
  • A study shows that the Americans living in the south of the United States are fatter than those living in the north of the country. The fired southern U.S. cuisine might be responsible for this.
  • A study done by a group of Australian researchers might bring forward treatment of heroin and morphine addiction.  They have shown that by blocking the immune receptor called TLR4 opioid carving stop.
  • Researchers from Queensland are working on the spider venom as a treatment of breast cancer.
  • A group of researchers from Melbourne and Finland’s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute say that those children who eat vegetables during their children don’t have adult diseases like diabetes and increased cholesterol levels when they grow up.
  • According to the American Cancer Society researchers aspirin helps to prevent the risk of cancer.
  • According to a study vitamin C might help to reduce harmful the effect of air pollution for the people suffering from chronic lung disease.
  • According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health, older American though having a longer life span might not be enjoying better quality of life. They study should that the older people are obese and are facing higher housing costs.
  • A study reveals that children with more self-control might help them to remain thin. It might reduce their chances to gain weight later in life.
  • According to a study the workers at or nearby the Japanese nuclear plant are suffering from high rates of stress and depression.
  • According to a recent study about 206 million Indians use smokeless tobacco.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo. About ten suspected cases and six deaths have been reported so far.
  • Pickles contaminated with E.coli kills six people in Japan. At least 100 people have been reported getting sick after consumption of this contaminated product.
  • Emergency has been declared with the worst seasonal outbreak of West Nile virus in Dallas, Texas has been reported by the officials.
  • Warning has been issued by the state and federal officials after an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in southwestern Indiana.
  • An emergency has been declared in Sierra Leone after the outbreak of cholera in the capital. Eight out of twelve districts have been affected by this disease.
  • A report released by ‘The Times of India’ newspaper reveal that about 121 people have died during clinical trials in India in past six months.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • April 7th is celebrated every year as World Health Day to mark the founding anniversary of World Health Organization (WHO).

Politics and Policies:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against Japanese weight loss pills. The product contains a suspected cancer-causing agent – Phenolphthalein.
  • Indonesia has won a tobacco dispute with the United States after the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in its favor saying that the US ban on clove cigarettes was discriminatory.
  • The 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Kampala, Uganda, adopts Resolution on “Access to Health as Basic Right”.
  • World politicians meeting in the capital of Uganda, Kampala, have agreed on the need to repeal laws discriminating against HIV/AIDS which they say have contributed to an increase in the rate of new infections.
  • Dharamsala (in India) based Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has launched a Medicare system for Tibetans in Exile.
  • The Department of Health (DH) of Hong Kong has appealed the public not to buy or consume an oral product called “Ling Zhi She Xiang Tong Mai Dan”.
  • The Chilean Senate has rejected three bills that would have eased the country’s absolute ban on abortions.


  • An emergency funding of $26 million has been authorized by President Barack Obama to the United Nations High Commissioner for the Sudanese refugees. This will help to respond to the crisis of health, water and food.
  • Bill Gates- Backed Alliance prepares to fight cervical cancer in the developing world. This program is planned to protect 20 million women in thirty countries by the end of decade.
  • Palmcroft Church of Arizona is organizing a campaign to raise thousands of dollars to bring clean water to the poorest of poor in Haiti and Ethiopia.
  • United States Fund for UNICEF President and CEO, Ceryl Stern joins Royal delegation to UNICEF emergency center.
  • The Kenya Aids Vaccination Initiative (KAVI) is collaborating with Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa and Gambia to carry out its research to develop biological marker for understanding the diseases among the people in Africa.
  • The Arab bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has signed loan agreements worth US$ 10 million to improve health services and expanding its coverage in West African region.
  • A meeting organized by the interest groups together for a Stakeholders Consultation on Tuberculosis in the mining sector under the auspices of the South African Development Community (SADC), with the World Bank support.
  • The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRF) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will together begin US$ 10.8 million health care program that will focus on maternal and child health in fifty nine villages in Burundi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
  • The HIV Early Infant Diagnosis Project funded by the Clinton Foundation and Mozambique’s Ministry of Health has saved an estimated 20,000 babies from infection in the first six months of its launch. Sequoia Technology and Telit Wireless Solutions- providers of technology for this project- has developed a way for the rural medical clinics in Africa to wirelessly receive HIV test results of the expectant mothers within days of testing.
  • The UK government is planning to develop a smartphone natural disaster application, to help victims of flood, famines and earthquake.
  • The first Czech clinic of addictology, focused on the treatment and prevention of alcohol and illegal drug addictions and research into them was opened in Prague.


  • Researchers say that fish along the Orange County coast may have been affected by radioactivity that fell in California in the days after Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. They also say that small levels of radioactive isotope have accumulated in seaweed along the local shoreline.
  • A research suggests link between an injectable form of progestin-only birth control and an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • A universal cancer vaccine has been developed by a group of researchers. The early clinical trial has shown that it triggers an immune response and targets a molecule found in 90% of all cancers.
  • A remedy consisting of phytonutrients extracted from eggplant have been confirmed to treat and basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.
  • A study on females in China revealed that the vegetables like mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, cauliflower and green cabbage are protective against breast cancer.
  • According to a study malaria stain resistant to the most effective drug used to treat the disease has spread along the Thai-Myanmar border. If ways are not found to contain it, it might reach India and Africa.
  • According to a recent survey Delhi (in India) has the highest number of corporate employees afflicted with insomnia due to high stress level and demanding schedules in offices. This city is followed by Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai.
  • Type 2 diabetes rising sharply in China. About 30 percent increase in cases in only seven years.
  • Data from 2010 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) shows that 27.1% of obese people above the age of eighteen years with BMI greater than 27.The same data shows obesity among kids below five years olds has increased to 14% from 11% in 2007.
  • Scientists from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and the National Cancer Center Singapore have identified more than 600 genes that are mutated in stomach cancer, the second most lethal cancer in the world.
  • The blood-pressure medication prazosin was found to be an effective treatment to curb nightmares related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • A study shows that most of the fat people think they are not fat.
  • Researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of hypnotism in reducing severe symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • A new study suggests a link between obesity during pregnancy and autism.
  • The dengue virus may make mosquitoes even thirstier for human blood according to a study conducted at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • According to a new study, waist size helps to predict heart disease risk in teenagers.

Diseases & Disasters

  • The eastern horn of Africa is in famine crisis. About 750,000 people are at a risk of death.
  • H1N1 was detected in a Hong Kong’s slaughter house during regular influenza virus surveillance for pigs.
  • Avalanche in Siachen glacier region claims life of people in India and Pakistan.
  • Nine miners trapped in collapsed mine in Peru.