IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • A new healthcare-for-all program in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta is under scrutiny. National officials are monitoring the city’s response and experience ahead of the rollout of a government scheme to provide universal healthcare by 2019.
  • The ministry of Health and Population of Nepal has decided to upgrade all sub-health posts to health posts by 2015.
  • The Pediatric Society of New Zealand has called for funding for infant vaccinations against the disease as an urgent priority.
  • Bill in North Dakota bans abortion after heartbeat is found.


  • Solar-powered mobile health center equipped with remarkable range of facilities (- eye clinic, blood clinic and dental surgery) unveiled in Cape Town, South Africa.  Besides proving screening for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure it will also emphasize on health education.
  • The United States will provide Burundi an additional $3.5 million in aid towards its fight against HIV/AIDS and mother-to-child transmission of disease.
  • The Association of Heath Journalists with a support from the UNAIDS will be trained on tuberculosis, HIV and co-infection.
  • Japan gives N443 million for childhood disease to Nigeria. This grant will partly support facilitation and monitoring of health sector performance in Nigeria.
  • Somaliland to vaccinate 600,000 young children against polio.
  • Scotia bank has announced pledge of $1 million to support the Carribbean –SickKids Paediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Project. These funds will be used to support the projects telemedicine programs in Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas.
  • United Healthcare Awards $5.2 million in grants to California nonprofits-$2.2 million to three Los Angeles-area health organizations.


  • A team of scientists from the United States have claimed to have treated a child of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.
  • Mozambique is on its way to utilize tests for tuberculosis by the GeneXpert machine which would speed up its diagnosis from two to three months to two hours.
  • A three day campaign launched by the Chaadian government with support of the United Nations agencies to eradicate polio, boost vitamin A and de-warm four million children under the age of five years.
  • According to a study providing life-long antiretroviral treatment to HIV-infected pregnant women not only prevents HIV infections in infants, but also improves the 10 years survival rate in mothers.
  • Mozambique’s first HIV vaccine trial heralds new era in local research.
  • Rwanda Ministry of Health deploys technology to report potential disease outbreaks and help health workers contain the spread of disease.
  • Government of Rwanda is introducing its first combined Rubella-Measles vaccine. A nationwide campaign against these two diseases has been launched in the country.
  • The scientists from University of Toronto and SickKids Research Institute have mapped genome that causes Dutch elm disease.
  • Studies uncover risks and threats to Arctic inhabitant’s health that might be due to contaminants brought by warmer air and sea water currents resulting from climate change.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • Nearly fifteen people have died in Libya after consumption of home-made alcohol and more than 300 people are suffering from alcohol poisoning.
  • Since November 2012 about 389 people have been infected and nearly 10 people are killed because of cholera outbreak in Congo’s second largest city, Pointe-Noire.
  • Measles kills 17 in Niger state.
  • The report of United Nations has raised air safety concerns in India.
  • According to the officials,  hospitals in South Sudan.
  • According to a data posted on the health ministry website in China, from 1971 to 2010, a total of 328.9million abortions were carried out in the country.
  • Cluster of Vancomycin resistant enterococci cases has been reported in United Christian Hospital in Hong Kong.
  • According to a report by WHO, road safety is worst in India.
  • Undocumented children in Indonesia have no access to education and basic healthcare.
  • The swine flu virus isolated from the throat swab samples of six H1N1-infected patients at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) has shown small genetic mutation.
  • According to the reports of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MOH)’s Preventive Health Department, hand-foot-mouth (HFM) disease has affected over 10,000 Vietnamese people.
  • Health officials investigate norovirus outbreak at Andina in Porland.
  • Mexico fireworks blast death toll rises to 14.


Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:



Diseases & Disasters



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.

Global Health News Last Week

May 18 was HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.


  • Hundreds of Kenyan AIDS activists held a protest on 18 May in the capital, Nairobi to demand that the government meet its commitment to increase annual health and HIV funding.
  • In response to the mutual expulsion of diplomats, the UK’s DFID announced that it has frozen new aid to Malawi.
  • DDT has made a controversial re-appearance in Uganda.



  • The World Health Organization has just launched a new web-based information resource tool that should be of interest to many in global health and development community, the Global Health Observatory.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the worldwide prevalence of obesity has more than doubled between 1980 and 2008.
  • New research has found that a variant in one gene can lead to a 30 percent lower risk of developing cerebral malaria.
  • A new study from Bangladesh concludes that most of the world’s pregnant women don’t need vitamin A supplements.
  • American scientists have tested a treatment regimen for tuberculosis which will reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the full treatment as compared to current plans.
  • A new report from the Guttmacher Institute finds that that 7 in 10 women in Sub Saharan Africa, south central Asia and south east Asia who want to avoid pregnancy, but are not using modern methods give reasons for non-use which suggest available methods do not fulfill their needs.
  • Average life expectancy across much of the world — except Iraq and South Africa — is steadily climbing and infant deaths dropped across the world during the first decade of the 21st century, according to figures released by the World Health Organization.
  • The Clinton Health Access Initiative and Gates Foundation have teamed up to support research into developing a cheaper version of the drug Tenofovir.


  • China has reduced its AIDS mortality by two-thirds since it began distributing free antiretroviral drugs in 2002; however, the improvements were seen largely in patients who acquired HIV through blood transfusion, rather than through sex or drug use. On a darker note, Chinese authorities ordered an AIDS activists’ web site shut down after it had published an open letter from a retired senior official concerning news restrictions placed on a 20th-century public health scandal.
  • Dr. Orin Levine looks at a disturbing global trend: Infectious killers that had been beaten back by aggressive immunization efforts are making a comeback in places long thought to be safe havens.


The IH Blog was featured in the “Buzzing in the Blogs” section of the Healthy Dose this week! Thanks to Tom Murphy for reading and tweeting us!