Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • Swaziland has launched a new national framework to eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keep their mothers alive.
  • According to a report Pakistani politicians have pledged for health and education of their people.
  • A Texas Senate bill would revise the state’s end-of-life procedure.
  • Bloomberg’s campaign might close off the remaining means of access to cheap cigarettes and little cigars which make it easier for teenagers to experiment with smoking and progress to smoking regularly.

Programs:

  • World Bank has approved a concessionary loan of US $200 million to Sri Lanka to further enhance the quality of the health sector service.
  • §  Britain is going to launch a £179 million five-year healthcare program in the Democratic Republic of Congo which aims to reach about six million people.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to clamp down on the sale of non-iodized salt.
  • UNICEF has increased its support from four to ten districts in the Upper East region in Ghana to implement a 5 year child survival program known as the Essential Newborn Care (ENC).
  • A regional health agency has been launched in Kigali, Rwanda, East Africa aiming to facilitate and improve regional health sectors.
  • US AIDS agencies have begun their five-year effort with Malawi’s government to improve health care services for HIV/AIDS virus infected people.
  • Irish aids program helping African people suffering from HIV/ AIDS.
  • Niger’s first lady commits to stopping new HIV infections in children.

Research:

  • According to a study done by the scientists at Queen’s University, the risk of getting head and neck cancer can be reduced by 22% by taking a weekly or even monthly dose of over-the counter aspirin.
  • A study shows that climate change can worsen the public health threat of diarrheal disease in Botswana.
  • According to a global health study HIV/ AIDS and tuberculosis are two top killers among the people of Russia.
  • A study on a disease- konzo- indicate that its physical effects on body is accompanied by impairment of children’s memory, problem solving capability and their cognitive functions.
  • Scientists in United Kingdom have been successful in making a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease. Since it is not made from live virus, its production will require no special containment.
  • United Nations analyst says that Tanzania might achieve millennium goal on maternal health.
  • Kenya Aids Research Coordinating Mechanism chairperson has called for teamwork in HIV/Aids research.
  • According to a study early detection of bowl cancer can help to prevent cancer. They say that those who participated in the screening program were the people who were the most easiest to treat.
  • A study says that a ‘new diagnostic test may be safe and easy screening method that could improve the prognosis of patients with pancreatic cancer through early detection’.
  • Study shows that obesity makes a person to exercise less.
  • According to a study elderly people who have many social interactions may live longer than those who are more socially isolated.
  • According to a NIH study pregnant women who experienced financial, emotional or other personal stress in the year before their delivery had an increased chance of having stillbirth.
  • A study by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention many mothers in U.S. start infants on solid foods earlier than experts recommend.
  • A study done by the scientists at Boston School of Public Health finds a link between childhood abuse and fibroids.
  • Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine say that improving levels of vitamin D in the blood via supplementation could help to fight disease by affecting gene expression and boosting the immune system.
  • Italian scientists say that people who suffer from migraines are more likely to have brain abnormalities at birth and some develop them over the course of time.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • According to the reports about two people have died due to infection of a new strain of Avian flu in China.
  • UNICEF warns that 2 million children in Central African Republic are without basic supplies.
  • United Nations has been forced to delay desperately-needed food-aid to nearly 300,000 people in Guinea Bissau as it has so far received no donations to support its operation.
  • According to the United Nations reports about 240,000 Pakistani children have missed their UN sponsored polio vaccinations due to the security concerns in the country’s tribal regions.
  • According to the reports, skin lightening is popular among the females in Senegal despite of health concerns over the product.
  • Reports show that the public health centers in Tanzania do not have enough medicine and hospital supplies.
  • Clusters of vancomycin resistant enterococci cases in Kowloon Central Cluster (KCC), in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong have been reported.
  •  Visitors urged to stay away from Beaumount Hospital Dublin due to flu outbreak, according to the reports.
  • The health officials of Australia have become alarmed after the report of first death from XDR-TB- drug resistant tuberculosis.
  • According to the reports, more than 7,000 people might have been exposed to HIV and or hepatitis in Oklahoma dentist’s office.

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-up

World Breastfeeding Week is from 01 August 2012 to 08 August 2012. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy makers in August 1990 to protect promote and support breastfeeding.

Politics and Policies:

  • The United Kingdom government is set to become the first country in the world to provide all children free of charge with a comprehensive flu vaccination program.
  • Ugandan health ministry says it needs Sh2 Billion to fight Ebola hemorrhagic fever.
  • Rwanda moves to close down children’s institutions and improves its childcare system.
  • Massachusetts passes Health Cost Control Bill. It aims to save $200 billion over the next 15 years by linking health care cost increases to the growth of the state’s economy.
  • Arizona delays Medicaid expansion decision.
  • International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project) launched a new report on the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Uruguay.

Programs:

  • United States Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration partner on food safety booklets to help those with compromised immune systems to prevent food borne illness.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved first generic versions of Singular to treat asthma and allergies.
  • FDA approves Zaltrap for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in adults.
  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners are scaling up efforts to reverse the ‘alarming’ rates of malnutrition, disease and death in two camps hosting Sudanese refugees in South Sudan.
  • Tullow Oil gives Sh100 million to the Uganda’s Ministry of Health to help to fight against the deadly Ebola disease.
  • The Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM) which has been housed at PATH since its inception nearly 15 years ago will close operations in September.
  • Group Health teams with hospital system in Pacific Northwest.
  • United States announces $12 million more in the Syrian humanitarian aid. The U.S. is providing food, water, medicine, clothing and hygiene kits.
  • The United Nations office has announced that North Korea needs immediate food aid due to flood.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its bulletin (online) for August.
  • Gilead Sciences inks deals with 3 Indian companies including Ranbaxy laboratories for low-cost HIV drug in developing countries.

 

 Research:

  • According to a research, diacetyl – artificial butter flavoring agent is linked to key Alzheimer’s disease process.
  • A study reveals that clusters of congenital anomalies are likely to go unnoticed due to lack of nationwide surveillance.
  • A study published in Health Care Management Review reports that mandatory individual insurance coverage in Massachusetts was followed by a significant near-term drop in hospital productivity.
  • A study suggests that there is a link between allergies and reduced risk of a serious type of cancer that starts in brain.
  • A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology demonstrates that a new drug is effective in a common kidney disease.
  • A study done by an undergraduate student, published in Analytical methods journal could lead to a simpler and more accurate way to test for prostate cancer.
  • A report published in The EMBO Journal show that intellectual disability due to Fragile X and Down syndromes involve similar molecular pathway.
  • A team of Spanish and Italian researchers in their experiment showed how the extracts from strawberry protect against ultraviolet radiation as well as increasing its viability and reducing damage to DNA.
  • Findings of a study suggest that students with strong hearts and lungs may make better grades.
  • A study published in Hepatology journal provides a new approach to treat acute liver failure.
  • A study published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics states that urban outdoor air pollution causes an estimated 1.3 million deaths per year worldwide.
  • Researchers state that certain jobs dads do are linked to higher risk of birth defects. These jobs included artists, photographer and photo processors, drivers and landscapers and grounds men.
  • A study done by the researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital state that social deprivation has a measurable effect on brain of children. They suggest that positive interventions can partially reverse these changes.
  • According to a research published in BMJ Open, restricting the amount of time spent seated every day to less than 3 hours might boost the life expectancy of US adults by 2 years.
  • According to a group of Korean researchers a significant portion of people who receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation may end up with broken ribs or other bones.
  • Researchers have found that the resins not only boost the athletic performance but also prevent DNA damage due to oxidative damage prior to strenuous activities which are linked with several types of cancer and heart disease.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • FDA warns consumers not to eat cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC of North Carolina because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (L.mono).
  • Death toll due to deadly Ebola virus is rising in Uganda. It has risen to 17. Rwanda health ministry has called upon general public not to panic.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about a new pig flu virus.
  • Flood affects life in North Korea. It has killed 170 people and about 200000 people have fled from their homes.

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

May 8 is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day.

Politics and Policies:

  • US State Department has issued travel warning for Algeria.
  • Marijuana bill passed by Connecticut. The state has legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes (- like cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy), with tight restrictions.
  • Judge rejects law on Planned Parenthood in Texas. It was ruled out by the judge that Texas could not ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state money as there was sufficient evidence that this law of banning Planned Parenthood from participating in the state’s Women’s health program was unconstitutional.
  • More than 100 people are charged by the United States authorities for trying to defraud the federal Medicare health care program for the elderly and disabled of about $452 million.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to the marketers of dietary supplements. These  ‘workout boosters’ contain an ingredient called dimethyamylamine or DMAA, which could increase people’s blood pressure, potentially causing shortness of breath or heart attacks.
  • A new rule approved by Texas board allows doctors to perform stem cell procedures as long as they are done for research and receive approval from an institutional review board. This rule also requires patients signed informed consent forms.
  • A settlement meant to guarantee alternatives to segregation for mentally-ill inmates in Massachusetts prisons has been approved by a federal judge. It will prevent placing mentally ill inmates with disciplinary problems in small isolation cells for up to 23 hours a day.

Programs

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has released their May 2012 Bulletin chronicling innovations in global health, under the theme of ‘eHealth’.
  • With World Bank support, Benn expands decentralized basic services for poor people and empower communities. Basic services include education, health and water, roads and market infrastructure.
  • The International Rescue Committee is launching an emergency response in Mali, where the drought spreading across the Sahel region has been compounded by political instability. The conflict meets a worsening food crisis.
  • The UNICEF has received two donations from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) to provide treatment for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Sahel nutrition crisis in West and Central Africa.
  • A new public health project to reduce maternal and infant mortality in 4 African countries has been inaugurated in Woisso, in Ethiopia. It is funded by the Italian Cooperation and launched in January 2012 by the doctor’s organization with African Cuamm.
  • Red Cross youth use power of music to increase access to health care. They have put together the ‘Humanity Band’, a project aiding the developing music talents of young volunteers of the Banju and Kanifing municipality Red Cross (of Gambia Red Cross Society), fund raising for Red Cross programs and increasing public awareness of disease control and prevention.
  • A UAE- based philanthropic organization, Dubai Cares, has launched Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) program in Ghana reaching over 400,000 beneficiaries.
  • Project HOPE sends UCLA nurse to educate medical staff in Ghana hospital.
  • Ouelessebougou Alliance to host 26th annual dinner auction to raise funds for people of Mali.
  • With World Bank support Mozambique extends Crucial Early Childhood Development Services to 84,000 children in 600 rural communities.
  • India offers $50m credit line, $25m in grant to Seychelles.

Research

  • Global Report says U.S. lags behind 130 other nations in preterm birth rate. The report ‘Born too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth’ ranks the U.S. 131st in the world in terms of its preterm birth rate of 12.0 per 100 live births.
  • A study finds that flash-heating breast milk inactivates HIV which reduces transmission of this virus that causes AIDS to their infants. The technique involves expressing breast milk into a glass jar that is placed in a small pot of water and heated until water boils.
  • A six yearlong study in Rwanda found that funding dedicated to HIV/ AIDS does not undermine funding for other diseases.
  • According to a study, a vast majority of HIV- infected persons in Kenya are unaware of their HIV status, posing a major barrier to HIV prevention, care and treatment efforts.
  • A study shows that mobile phones are transforming the way HIV test results are being transmitted to AIDS patients in Africa.
  • A study shows that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening to detect prostate cancer can be beneficial to younger and at-risk men.
  • According to a Australian research team, elderly people with pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes suffer from an accelerated decline in the brain size and mental capacity in as little as two years.
  • A long term follow-up analysis of participants in the Step-study, an international HIV vaccine trial has confirmed that certain subgroups of male study participants were at higher risk of becoming infected with HIV virus after receiving the experimental vaccine compared to those who received a placebo.
  • A promising result has been reported from a trial of an experimental vaccine that appears to offer complete protection from the most common type of meningococcal disease.
  • An international study led by the University of Sydney and published by the Annals of Neurology has potential to improve the design of clinical trials for the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a disorder which affects the peripheral nervous system.
  • A research study shows that an ingredient in curry (curcumin) boosts bowel cancer treatment.
  • Study shows school-based health centers boost vaccination rates.

Diseases & Disasters

  • A tornado has hit the capital city of Japan this Sunday killing one person and injuring atleast 46 other people.
  • Death toll from Kenya flash flood rises to 50. According to a relief agency the number of flash flood fatalities will still continue to rise due to heavy rains that have led to flash floods in several parts of the country.

 

 

 

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.

Programs

  • 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.

Research

  • 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.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

UNICEF celebrated its 65th anniversary on December 11, 2011 (Source: http://www.unicefusa.org/news/news-from-the-field/unicef-at-65-looking-back.html).

Politics and Policies

  • The US Department of Health and Human Services announced that, beginning in 2014, states will be allowed a basic set of essential health benefits for millions of Americans who would qualify for coverage through state based insurance exchanges (Source: http://www.politicalnewsnow.com/2011/12/17/states-to-weigh-in-on-basic-health-coverage-reuters/).
  • The US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) called for the first ever nation-wide ban on drive use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) while operating a motor vehicle (Source: http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2011/111213.html).
  • The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) have opposed a rule that required the health care facilities workers to have an annual influenza vaccine or they lose their jobs (Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/14/idUS205180+14-Dec-2011+GNW20111214).
  • First United Nations (UN) report on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, titled, “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, A.HRC.19.41.” was released on Wednesday, December 15th, 2011 (Source: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=35274).
  • The United States Conference of Mayors issued a report indicating emergency food assistance increased over the past year by an average of 15%. This report, prepared by City Policy Associates, contains each city (29 cities) survey report with their individual profiles – median household income, the metro unemployment rate, the monthly foreclosure rate, percentage of people in city who fall below the poverty line and contact information for individual service providers (Source: http://www.usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/20111215-release-hhr-en.pdf).

Programs

Research

Diseases and Disasters

These headlines were compiled by Vani Nanda, MPH Candidate at West Chester University PA.