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.

Programs:

  • 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.

Research:

  • 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

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.