IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • Burundi is introducing the second dose of measles vaccine in its vaccination campaign in order to strengthen its efforts to fight preventable diseases.
  • China has stated that it will assist Cameroon in its fight against malaria as well as to strengthen health policies.
  • Angola parliament approves main lines of 2013 budget bill. A third of it will be spent on education, health, social welfare and housing.
  • African government’s will implement a health scorecard to reduce child deaths. This monitoring system publicly collects and reports health data.
  • Ghana is planning to establish its Health Insurance Learning Center to provide expertise and training on health insurance to many countries and institutions across the world.
  • China plans emergency measures to control Beijing air pollution. The rules will formalize previous ad-hoc measures including shutting down factories, cutting back on burning coal and taking certain vehicle classes off the roads on days when pollution hits unacceptable levels.
  • Negotiations on the Minamata Convention on Mercury (in Switzerland) among the delegates of 140 United Nations member states state that mercury added products like batteries, switches, thermometers etc. may not be manufactured, imported or exported no later than 2020. Mercury-added dental amalgams are also to be phased out. But certain mercury-added products are to be exempted from ban- like products for military and civil protection, products used in religious practices and some vaccines (with thimerosal) etc.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new type of flu vaccine which is made with a process that does not require the virus to be grown in chicken eggs. This will make it available weeks earlier in the event of a pandemic.


  • In order to prevent, strengthen, and mobilize the society on HIV/AIDS risks, a project “Proactive” was presented in Angola by the Population Services International (PSI). It will target prostitutes, lorry drivers and gays.
  • In collaboration with UNAIDS, Tango organized a two-day workshop on combating stigma and discrimination in HIV/AIDS for Civil Society Organizations.
  • To provide treatment to the needy heart patients mainly children and elderly, the Emirates Heart Group has launched humanitarian missions in Sudan, Egypt and Bosnia.
  • Guinea worm eradication program is coming to its completion. The reports show that the cases of the parasitic disease were reduced by nearly half in 2012.
  • For increasing awareness on road traffic safety the Riders for Health-the Gambia (RFH) and the British High Commission have established a Training-cum Resource Center in Gambia.


  • According to a study done by the researchers of UK, US and Germany, eating with seven servings a day is linked to peak mental well-being.
  • A study states that the HIV infection rate has declined among the pregnant females in the Republic of Congo from 3.4 percent in 2009 to 2.8 percent in 2012.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the cases of measles have fallen by 75 percent since 2000 but the rate of vaccination is still quite low to progress towards its complete eradication.
  • A study states that the HIV infection rate has declined among the pregnant females in the Republic of Congo from 3.4 percent in 2009 to 2.8 percent in 2012.
  • A report states that the Somali women living in Minnesota for 20 years or more have their cultural traditions about pregnancy and birth. They continue to resist cesarean sections, prenatal care and family planning.
  • A study published in PloS One states that South Africa pays a high cost to treat both drug-resistant and drug-sensitive tuberculosis. It states that drug resistant tuberculosis in South Africa consumed about 32% of the total estimated 2011 national TB budget of $218 million.
  • A simple radiographic scoring system has been suggested as it is found to reliably rule out active pulmonary tuberculosis in smear negative HIV – uninfected patients. It will potentially reduce the need for further testing in high burden settings.
  • A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine states that a 48-week course of antiretroviral medication taken in early stages of HIV infection slows the damage to immune system and delays the need for long term treatment.
  • According to a study bats are reservoirs for Ebola virus in Bangladesh.
  • Studies have shown that the cactus fruit could treat diabetes, help to lower cholesterol and have high levels of vitamin C.
  • A study published in Plos One states that majority of the high risk population in a setting in rural China have been diagnosed with a Cardiovascular Disease related disease. Majority of them did not take any cardiovascular disease drugs and very few of them took some drugs to prevent the diseases.
  • A study done in University of Gothenburg, Sweden, states that amputations among people with diabetes can be reduced by 50%. They stated that simple interventions like shoe inserts, podiatry, regular check-ups and other simple interventions can help to reduce it.
  • A new infection caused by ticks similar to Lyme disease has been found in 18 people in southern New England and upstate New York. According to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, this sickness could be infecting more than 4,300 Americans a year with flu-like symptoms and relapsing fevers.
  • According to a study vitamin D3 supplements are as effective as influenza vaccine. The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that those school children who took vitamin D3 supplements were 64 % less likely to contract seasonal influenza A viral infection.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • A recently introduced five-in-one vaccine against diphtheria, pneumonia, tetanus, hepatitis B and Hib meningitis have raised health concerns among the doctors in India.
  • The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health Hong Kong, has confirmed a case of New Delhi metallo-β – lacatamase-1 (NDM-1) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in a 26 year old female.
  • The Department of Health (Hong Kong) has released a warning on a oral product named ‘Chashoot’. They say that it may contain undeclared Western drug ingredients that are dangerous to health.

Global Health Weekly News Round-up

Politics and Policies

  • Australia’s cigarette plain packaging law upheld by the government. The World Health Organization hails this decision. This ruling might be followed by other countries too.
  • New policy launched by South Africa government to restructure the current national health insurance policy faces criticisms by the citizens.
  • A new national body to lead the network of Medicare Locals has been launched in Australia.
  • The federal government of Australia has revealed its plans to remove all the asbestos from its government and federal buildings by 2030.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) baby boomers must be tested for hepatitis C.


  • Johnson & Johnson plans to remove potentially cancer-causing and other dangerous chemicals from nearly all its adult toiletries and cosmetic products within three and half years.
  • Zachary Kimotho raises Sh73 million for paraplegic center in Kenya.
  • Kenya National Hospital goes hi-tech to improve efficiency.
  • The Treatment Action Campaign in Gauteng says it will take health Department to the court to force them to deliver quality health care to citizens.
  • Drug major Cipla launched HIV/AIDS treatment kit in India at Rs 158. It consists of two tablets in one strip which represents a single day’s treatment.


  • A new ranking released by Bloomberg, Singapore has the healthiest population in the world.
  • According to the researchers eating walnuts help to improve sperm count. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins as folic acid and minerals like zinc and selenium which are important for the development of sperm.
  • A team of researchers from Italy say that coca contain flavanols which might reduce the level of dementia and help to improve cognitive functions in elderly.
  • According to a latest research chemotherapy during pregnancy is safe for the baby though baby might have low birth weight.
  • According to report male contraceptive pill might be available very soon in the near future.
  • The Australian researchers have brought before 3-D images to reveal secret life of Legionella bacteria. They have shown how this bacterium does not require a host to survive.
  • A group of U.S. researchers have used different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to scan the brain of people to understand the changes in brain with age. This research can be useful for studying the changes in brain related to autism and ADHD.
  • According to a study treatment involving exposure to traumatic memories help people with post-traumatic stress-disorder and substance abuse issues.
  • A study shows that the Americans living in the south of the United States are fatter than those living in the north of the country. The fired southern U.S. cuisine might be responsible for this.
  • A study done by a group of Australian researchers might bring forward treatment of heroin and morphine addiction.  They have shown that by blocking the immune receptor called TLR4 opioid carving stop.
  • Researchers from Queensland are working on the spider venom as a treatment of breast cancer.
  • A group of researchers from Melbourne and Finland’s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute say that those children who eat vegetables during their children don’t have adult diseases like diabetes and increased cholesterol levels when they grow up.
  • According to the American Cancer Society researchers aspirin helps to prevent the risk of cancer.
  • According to a study vitamin C might help to reduce harmful the effect of air pollution for the people suffering from chronic lung disease.
  • According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health, older American though having a longer life span might not be enjoying better quality of life. They study should that the older people are obese and are facing higher housing costs.
  • A study reveals that children with more self-control might help them to remain thin. It might reduce their chances to gain weight later in life.
  • According to a study the workers at or nearby the Japanese nuclear plant are suffering from high rates of stress and depression.
  • According to a recent study about 206 million Indians use smokeless tobacco.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo. About ten suspected cases and six deaths have been reported so far.
  • Pickles contaminated with E.coli kills six people in Japan. At least 100 people have been reported getting sick after consumption of this contaminated product.
  • Emergency has been declared with the worst seasonal outbreak of West Nile virus in Dallas, Texas has been reported by the officials.
  • Warning has been issued by the state and federal officials after an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in southwestern Indiana.
  • An emergency has been declared in Sierra Leone after the outbreak of cholera in the capital. Eight out of twelve districts have been affected by this disease.
  • A report released by ‘The Times of India’ newspaper reveal that about 121 people have died during clinical trials in India in past six months.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The House Committee on Appropriations released a draft of the FY 2013 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and related Agencies appropriations bill. It provides the funding levels for global health programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the John E. Fogarty International Center.
  • Heads of State endorse the establishment of the African Public Health Emergency Fund (APHEF).
  • New smoking law in South Africa under attack.
  • Federally funded website in Australia is offering tools and tips to those battling anxiety and depression.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Truvada as HIV prevention pill.
  • European agency backs approval of a gene therapy.
  • Atlanta curbs smoking, part of southern wave of bans.
  • The F.D.A. has approved Qsymia, a weight loss drug.


  • AIDS research road map issued by the international AIDS specialists- hope of eventual AIDS cure revived. The priorities of new cure research strategy will be- determine why HIV hibernates and persists, why people are naturally resistant, develop strategies to make them more naturally resistant etc.
  • African women to gain access to innovative contraception.  The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the US Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pfizer and PATH (the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) partnership plans to produce 12 million doses of contraceptive between 2013 and 2016.
  • iAFya mobile health application launched in East Africa. This personal health service on phone answers everyday health questions- from basic information to professional health advice.
  • UCB launches Neupro(R) in the U.S. to treat Parkinson’s disease and Restless Legs syndrome.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Onyx blood cancer drug Kyprolis (Carfilzomib).


  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study suggests that egg therapy helps children to overcome their allergies.
  • The researchers at Stanford University and at the Howard Hudges Medical Institute have worked on getting genome maps from 91 sperms and were able to create a personal map of the DNA within the sperm. They were also able to capture an image of the new mutations that formed within each sperm cell as the DNA changed to create more genetic diversity.
  • Scientists have discovered a link between cancerous cervical cells and those in the esophagus. They also found out that these cancerous cells are the remnants of a process known as embryogenesis, which failed to disappear and get replace by the adult cells.
  • Tool created by the researchers help to track real time changes in the brain of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease, depression and Tourette.
  • The researchers at the California Institute of Technology have revealed that certain changes in the over reactive immune system of mice could cause behaviors similar to those found in autism. This study has helped to find a link between irregularities in the immune system and neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Researchers turn skin cells to brain cells.  They have generated the type of human neuron which is specifically damaged by the Parkinson’s disease (PD) and used various drugs to stop the damage.
  • Scientists have designed a pen like tool to more effectively stop seizures.
  • The researchers at the University of Dundee have showed through their study that a cheap gout drug- allopurinol- is helpful to treat heart pain.
  • A new study shows that the vitamin C may lower gout risk in men. It showed that consuming at least 1500 milligrams per day of this vitamin reduces the odds of gout by 46 percent.
  • The researchers in the Milk Quality Improvement Program at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have identified the predominant spore-forming bacteria in milk and their unique enzyme activity, the knowledge of which can be used to protect the quality and shelf life of dairy products.
  • Scientists grow sweat glands from newly identified stem cells. They devised a strategy to purify and molecularly characterize the different kinds of stem cell populations that make up the complex sweat duct and gland in skin.
  • A team of researchers have demonstrated the role of Lactobacillus reuteri as a beneficial probiotic organism which produces an antimicrobial substance known as reuterin, which may protect intestinal epithelial cells from infection by the foodborne bacterial pathogen Salmonella.
  • Scientist develop a new line of approach for combination therapy against melanoma. It involves combating the interaction between the protein MDM4 and the tumor suppressor p53.
  • A research shows that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing in HIV positive women may help reduce frequent cervical cancer screening.
  • A study says that bacteria outbreak (which can cause gastroenteritis) in Northern Europe is due to ocean warming.
  • Discovery of anti-inflammatory effects of abscisic acid in the lungs could prove crucial to healing influenza.
  • Latest studies have revealed that patients with spinal cord injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may benefit from cell transplantation.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fatal car crash risk highest among young drivers. Its July issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report found that about 22 percent of the motor vehicle deaths among the U.S. residents with young people ages 15 to 24.
  • A study shows that women with high stress jobs may be more likely to have a heart attack.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • Heavy rains kill about 37 people in Beijing (China).
  • U.S. whooping cough outbreak could be worst in half century.
  • The doctors say that the survivors of movie massacre likely to develop depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).