Global Health Weekly News Round-up

Politics and Policies:

  • United Nations has urged Philippines to pass reproductive health bill. It will help to achieve its health-related targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
  • States (U.S.) sets standards for insurance exchanges.
  • The Costs for senior’s Medicare Part D premiums will remain stable.
  • Massachusetts Governor signs health care cost containment bill.
  • Medicaid official outlines state flexibility in health law’s Medicaid expansion.
  • Dementia has been added to the list of national health priority areas in Australia, following a meeting of federal and state health ministers in Sydney.
  • Uganda’s government sued over maternal healthcare.
  • Spain will modify the controversial plan to deny public healthcare to undocumented immigrants.  They would now be treated under same system used for temporary foreign visitors to Spain.


  • A grant of 690,000 from the African Water Facility (AWF) will support Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) to build resilience to droughts through rain water harvesting management (IRHM).
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say that the HIV pill is also for people at risk of getting this deadly infection- woman, heterosexual men.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lucentis for treatment of diabetic macular edema- a life threatening eye disease that occurs in people with diabetes.
  • Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) working with the University of Colorado has embraced PartoPen and Partgraph technology to reduce maternal mortality and life threatening complications.


  • The researchers say that changing diets, urbanization and increasing sedentary lives has resulted in steep rise in obesity among many the African nations (Sub-Saharan Africa). They called it ‘thrifty gene hypotheses’.
  • According to a new study the way red meat is cooked can affect cancer risk.  It was found that men who ate more than 2.5 servings of red meat cooked by any high temperature method (broiling or grilling etc.) were 40% more likely to have advanced prostate cancer than men who rarely did so.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there is a slight drop in high school students who smoke cigarettes but sharp increase in percentage of black students who smoked cigars.
  • A recent study indicates that babies born to mothers who are overweight or obese in sub-Saharan Africa who are obese more likely die in the first two days after their birth.
  • Researchers at Duke University Health System have found a promising stem cell therapy for preventing osteoarthritis after a joint injury, using a type of stem cell, called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
  • According to a study conducted by University of Minnesota researchers investigating in quality of care for diabetic patients reduces their costs.
  • A recent research found that the breast cancer survivors with higher body fat had higher mean concentration of Serum amyloid A protein and C-reactive protein than women with lower body fat. Both of them are related to worse survival rates.
  • According to a research article planning and management instruments in healthcare area are limited in Brazil.
  • A study reconfirmed the usefulness of bendiocarb on anopheles populations (this mosquito causes malaria) resistant to pyrethroids.
  • A research study shows that percentage of exercise repetitions (by Parkinson’s disease patients) completed of those agreed with a physiotherapist in a six week personalized exercise program reduced with patient’s age but better compliance with medication was seen with age.
  • A study found that Asian females have very low prevalence of postpartum hemorrhage and compared to those of Europe.
  • Study found that the ionizing radiations might triggers mechanisms that might favor the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • According to Australian researchers persistent heavy marijuana use damages the brains memory and learning capacity.
  • In a study involving twins it was found that fainting could be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  • In a study done in Australia it was found that overqualified immigrants who are not able to find a job of their qualification after three years are likely to suffer from depression.
  • A research showed that men who did weight lifting reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • A West Nile virus epidemic has prompted a public health emergency in Dallas County in Texas. Nine people are reported to be killed by infection with this virus.
  • A 6.2 magnitude earthquake killed at least 87 people and injured 400 in northwestern Iran on Saturday (Aug, 11).
  • Typhoon Haikui struck China on Wednesday.  It has caused flooding and stranded hundreds of people.
  • Sliced apples packages distributed to fast-food and grocery chains being recalled due possible listeria contamination.
  • Queensland health authorities have rejected swine flu reports.
  • Queensland doctors are concerned with an outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease, syphilis, in states northwest.
  • Mexico kills 8 million birds infected with bird flu.
  • The CDC says 145 cases of the influenza A (H3N2) variant have been found in four United States states since mid-July. This new strain in humans continues to spread.
  • According to the CDC just one drug is left to fight against resistant Gonorrhea.


Global Health News Last Week


The 2011 IH Section award winners have been announced!

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Henry Mosley
  • Mid-Career Award: Neil Arya
  • Service to Section Award: Donna Barry
  • Gordon Wyon Award: John Bryant

Congratulations to this year’s awardees!  They will be honored at the section social on Monday night of this year’s Annual Meeting, so don’t miss it!

July 11 was World Population Day.  In honor of WPD this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a greater focus on providing improved health to mothers and children.


  • Last week, a United States federal appeals court overturned  a George W. Bush-era “anti-prostitution pledge” that required all organizations that receive US funds to fight HIV and AIDS to adopt a formal position condemning prostitution and trafficking.
  • Uganda’s legislative body has passed a bill that will criminalize  the intentional spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • An in-depth report by Gregg  Carlstrom for Al Jazeera examines the state of the new Republic  of South Sudan’s health systems. Future plans appear to be in the right direction, but the present health situation is dire for the newly established
  • U.S. officials are defending  the CIA’s use of a vaccination program in the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden amid concerns from international aid groups that the operation  could compromise future public health efforts in Pakistan. The CIA orchestrated a hepatitis vaccination program in the city of Abbottabad in a bid to collect DNA evidence to help identify the location of bin Laden family members.
  • A growing reluctance from donor countries to provide funds to help ever-wealthier China battle HIV/AIDS will adversely affect efforts against the disease’s spread, says Michel Sidibe, head of UNAIDS.


  • The Medicines Patent Pool, established by UNITAID to share drug patents, has just received its first contribution from Gilead Sciences. This will allow Indian generics companies to make cheap copies of some of the best HIV/AIDS drugs.


  • A new study has shown that ARVs taken by women with HIV/AIDS may have an effect on fertility.
  • The United Nations praised a study showing that the use of ARVs by people with HIV can reduce chance of infection between partners by 73%.
  • Mosquitoes are growing increasingly resistant to pyrethroids, the only insecticides approved by the WHO for use on bednets.
  • HIV/AIDS drugs can be used to provide additional protection against infection as well as for treatment of those already affect by the disease, according to results of two studies conducted in Africa.
  • Researchers in Tanzania are developing a device that uses the scent of malodorous human socks to attract mosquitoes in the wild, then poisons them. Donations of $775,000 announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada are intended to reduce the global infection rate of malaria by producing an affordable outdoor trap ranging in cost from between $4 and $27.
  • A new study says that an inexpensive de-worming pill can help people become deadly to malaria-carrying mosquitoes, but for the pill to work, nearly everyone in a community would have to take the pill at the same time — and repeat monthly. The drug reduces insect lifespan, helping against malaria because only the older mosquitoes can transmit it.


  • The World Health Organization says the world is better prepared for the next influenza pandemic. The centerpiece of the plan is to strengthen the capacity of manufacturers to provide enough vaccines to immunize the world’s population against influenza.
  • The WHO has certified that Uganda has successfully eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus.
  • According to a report published in March 2011 by the United Nations Environment Programme, only two in every five people in the Southern Africa have access to safe water for drinking and household use. Three quarters of those lacking access, live in rural areas and the majority of these are women and children.
  • The CDC has expressed concern over the recently discovered strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to all present antibiotic treatments.
  • Drug manufacturers, government representatives and pharmacists from six countries in East Africa have estimated that as much as 30 percent of all drugs on the market are either of very poor quality or counterfeit medicines.
  • A lack of financial support and political will are contributing to the upsurge of measles in 33 countries. In an video interview, Andrea Gay at Measles Initiative, explains the different reasons for measles outbreaks in the developing and developed countries.
  • The number of children facing death by starvation in Somalia has almost doubled since March and the country’s child malnutrition rate is now the highest in the world, the International Committee of the Red Cross warns. Aid agencies have struggled to reach Somalis affected by drought due to security concerns across the conflict-ravaged country.