Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The Obama administration has given conditional approval to health insurance market places being set up by six states led by Democratic governors.
  • New Jersey Assembly panel passes a bill allowing driver’s licenses to include diabetic condition.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) has set a standard in the middle of the range of 11- 13 micrograms per cubic meter for the soot particles in the air.
  • Michigan works to ban synthetic drug phenethylamine.


  • The United Nations (UN) has asked for $8.5 billion to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to 51 million people in crisis-stricken countries around the world in 2013.
  • The U N has launched an initiative to help to eliminate cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • Emergency vaccinations campaign has been organized in Sudan by its Federal Ministry of Health against mosquito- borne yellow fever.
  • Third phase of measles and rubella (MR) vaccination campaign has been started in Nepal.
  • The UN has warned that nearly 55 million tons of radioactive waste from old Soviet-era uranium mines in unsecured sites in northern Tajikistan.
  • The state of Iowa is planning to spend $3.2 million on tobacco prevention and cessation.
  • MidMichigan Health receives grant to fight childhood obesity.


  • A Sudanese neurologist has succeeded in giving the first clinical and psychological description of spastic paraplegia.
  • Researchers at the University of California and the University of Oxford have found a link between type-2 diabetes and corn syrup consumption.
  • A study published in Lancet states that air pollution tops the list of major health risk among the developing countries.
  • A study finds years living with disease and injury increasing globally.
  • In a study done by the researchers in United Kingdom, they found a link between the foliate consumption and risk of developing breast cancer.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia Chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
  • According to a study about 10% of the 6- 8 year old children of Finland have sleep – disordered breathing.
  • Experts say “plethora” of diseases caused by low vitamin D.
  • A study links work place bullying to developing risk for anxiety/ depression/ psychological problems.
  • A study done by the U.S. researcher’s show that Blacks have higher risk of heart disease.  They have a double risk of dying of coronary disease.
  • A study links drinking coffee with reduction in risk of throat and mouth cancer. It states that drinking more than four cups of coffee can cause significant rate of risk reduction.
  • Researchers at University of Copenhagen have found a very important function of BRCA2 gene. This knowledge could be used for the treatment of breast cancer.
  • A 2010 study states that the television in bedrooms may boost heart disease and diabetes among the children.
  • A study links innate immunity and inflammation pathway with advanced prostate cancer risk.

 Diseases and Disasters:

  • Outbreak of diarrhea killed seven people from lower Shabelle region in Southern Somalia.
  • A report released by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Alaska ranks number one in United States for Chlamydia.
  • Seventh death due to fungal meningitis has been  reported in Indiana (U.S.).
  • A report released by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Louisiana leads the nation in rates of gonorrhea and syphilis cases.
  • Drug resistant infection cluster has been reported in South Dakota. People who are healthy are not at risk as compared to those on ventilators, urinary or intravenous catheters or long courses of certain antibiotics.





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, Week of August 28-September 3

Global Fund round 11 is now open for proposals.


A seven-part webinar series, called the “Outstanding Presentations Workshop,” began this Wednesday and is available for free to all who register. Each one-hour seminar will be streamed live over the next few weeks on Wednesday and will be recorded for later viewing.  Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to improve your presentations and spare your audiences death by PowerPoint. More information is available here, and the schedule can be accessed here.


  • In Uganda, the landmark legal case of Jennifer Anguko, a mother who died while she was in labor for 12 hours in a government hospital, will begin in early September.
  • Critics of the World Health Organization say it needs to redefine and reposition itself within the increasingly complex and convoluted field of global health. These experts suggest that the world will not suffer if the WHO cuts certain programs while narrowing its focus.
  • In the United States, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are promoting the use of IUDs as the “most effective form of reversible contraception available and safe for most women.”
  • The Global Fund may cut its contributions to China by half.
  • USAID Admin Dr. Raj Shah announced that $23 million in new aid will be directed towards the Horn of Africa crisis.
  • Anonymity is no longer a right of people seeking HIV/AIDS tests in China, and the change has lead to a significant drop in the number of tests being performed.
  • The Asian Development Bank has called for Asia-Pacific countries to collaborate on combating HIV/AIDS at the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Tension between the United States and Pakistan will not prevent USAID from continuing to support health, energy and education systems says the USAID Pakistan Chief.
  • The epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and cancers that have stricken the populaces of wealthy countries are spreading to the developing world, yet the United Nations lacks an agreement, let alone an overall goal, on how to limit the preventable illnesses and deaths arising from these so-called non-communicable diseases. The British Medical Journal reports many developed countries, including the U.S. and Canada, are resisting specific targets for reduction in fats, sugars and salt in processed foods.


  • Overall, more newborn children are surviving, but slower progress in cutting death rates among babies in the first weeks of life is putting the global goal of reducing child deaths by two-thirds in jeopardy.
  • One expert says as the question of aid effectiveness has moved to the centre of development debates. If donors want to make their aid more effective, then they need to engage strategically with the private sector.
  • In the Washington Post, Michael Gerson makes the “pro-life” case for increased support for contraception and family planning worldwide.
  • UNICEF and international NGOs are working to raise awareness and encourage West African communities to invest in the construction of more pit latrines. Pit latrines, say advocates, can drastically reduce the spread of diarrhea, cholera and worms.


  • A study published in Lancet finds that the workers who took part in the efforts to rescue people from the World Trade Center on 9/11 are at a high risk of suffering physical and mental illness.
  • A study by the Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation in Uganda and Zambia found high rates of syphilis and HIV co-infection among pregnant women, but showed that “integrating rapid syphilis screening and HIV testing for pregnant women was feasible, cost-effective, and helped to prevent transmission of syphilis and HIV from mother-to-child.”
  • A genetically engineered virus may be the key to combating cancer, says a group of scientists.
  • Believed to only help children under four, researchers have determined that the rotavirus vaccine also reduces deaths in children between the age of five and fourteen.
  • Researchers who have tracked Haitian cell phone SIM cards relative to the cholera outbreak are optimistic that their findings will lead to future use of the same technology for other outbreaks.
  • Scientists may have found a critical weakness in Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria. Researchers say the discovery provides a promising target for new malaria therapies.
  • Engineers at Michigan State University are developing a low-cost mobile phone application that can detect certain types of cancer.
  • Danish scientists say mosquito populations are dropping in many parts of Africa, even in parts where there are no human efforts such as insecticide spraying or bed net distributions underway.
  • A study published in the British Medical Journal reports a 24% reduction in deaths in children who received vitamin A.
  • A new approach to malaria vaccines grows the parasite inside mosquitoes and extracts vaccine components from the salivary gland.


  • A study published in Nature says that the last three waves of cholera can all be traced back to the Bay of Bengal.
  • Despite a massive humanitarian effort after the 2010 earthquake, females in Haiti remain neglected, rights activists say, lacking access to care as they give birth to babies in squalid conditions, often as a result of sex in trade for food or other necessities.
  • UN FAO warns that the bird flu is on the rise in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Reports from the Libyan capital Tripoli say a humanitarian crisis appears to be emerging following the ouster of long-time ruler Muammar Qaddafi. There is a shortage of medicine, fuel, food, water, and power supplies, and growing piles of uncollected garbage.
  • Polio has been reported in China and Kenya.

Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Tom Paulson, Isobel Hoskins, and UN Wire.