A video Message from Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, on Hypertension, the theme of World Health Day 7 April 2013.
This World Health Day, 7 April, WHO and partners focus on the global problem of high blood pressure. Many people do not know they have high blood pressure because it does not always cause symptoms. As a result, it contributes to more than nine million deaths every year, including about half of all deaths due to heart disease and stroke. Cut your risk of developing high blood pressure by: cutting down on salt; eating a balanced diet; avoiding harmful use of alcohol; doing regular physical activity; and avoiding tobacco use. Join the World Health Day conversation on Twitter @WHO – #CutRisks.
For more information: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2013/en/index.html
- World Earth Day was celebrated on April 22nd.
- World Primary Immunodeficiency week is celebrated from April 22- 29th, 2012.
Politics and Policies
- The Ministry of Health (Angola) with World Bank and Total E&P Angola has launched a project for the Reinforcement of Municipal Health Services. It aims to contribute to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.
- American Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d’lviore, has sponsored the project launched by the Ministry of Health – HIV/AIDS hotline- to enable the public- especially the youth-to get information about the disease.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidelines for couples in which one partner is HIV positive and the other is not. The guidelines for so-called “discordant” couples are being praised by UNAID, Doctors without Borders and others.
- Federal health officials endorsed a decision by their advisor to let publication of two controversial bird flu studies to prepare the world against a possible deadly pandemic.
- Indonesian tobacco companies will be forced by the government to place photos of horrific health problems caused by smoking on ever pack and advisers will be banned from showing cigarettes under a planned governmental regulation.
- Jeffrey Model Foundation joins 20 countries to Launch World Primary Immunodeficiency Week from April 22- 29. The campaign focuses on early diagnosis and access to appropriate treatment, through public awareness and physician education.
- Eurostat Press Office has released Health in the EU27 in 2010. According to it, at the age of 65, both men and women in the member states are expected to live a further 9 years in a healthy condition.
- Edo (state in Nigeria) receives N1.8 Billion cervical cancer vaccines from an international donor agency. The vaccines will be administered to the girl’s ages between 9 and 13 years in the state.
- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that obesity and diet related illness could emerge as major challenges for Europe and Central Asia while hunger will only be a minor problem.
- Latest findings in Breastfeeding Science presented at Medela’s 7th international breastfeeding and lactation symposium in Vienna, Austria on April 20-21, 2012. Presentations include insights into the unique properties of human milk, breastfeeding and medication, and stem cells in human milk.
- Scientists of University of Edinburgh have found a key protein which is common to many potentially fatal forms of malaria. It could help to develop vaccines or drugs against life-threatening cases of the infection.
- A study by U.S. National Institute on Aging showed that more daily exercises, even doing housework can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This prospective, observational cohort study involved 716 participants without dementia who participated in the Rush Memory and Aging Project.
- A survey has revealed the misuse of pesticides, some of them banned, in northern Ghana is affecting the health of the farmers, sometimes with fatal consequences, and contaminating the crops.
- A research study shows Ayurvedic cure of HIV/ AIDS might be possible by the Neem tree.
- A study suggests second-generation drug used for hypertension aids heart function independent of blood pressure effect.
- A study done by the Japanese scientists raise hope for treatment of baldness.
- Report shows a link between money, education and life expectancy.
- University of Illinois researchers have shown how soy protein could significantly reduce fat accumulation and triglycerides in the livers of obese patients by partially restoring the function of a key signaling pathway in the organ.
- An Irish medical study confirms swine flu jab caused increased narcolepsy among those with age groups between five to nineteen years. International experts suggest a number of factors might have contributed to this increased risk.
- Discovery of a yeast prion which helps cells to survive.
- A study published in the journal Biofabrication, describes a new method for making medical devices called nerve guidance conduits or NGC’s which may help severely damaged nerves to regrow and restore function.
- Neuroscientists have discovered key protein responsible for controlling nerve cell protection. It is responsible for controlling the chemical process which reduce or enhance protection mechanism for nerve cells in the brain.
- The researchers at Columbia Medical Center have identified a molecular pathway that controls the retention and release of the brain’s stem cells- ‘Housekeeping’ mechanism.
- A team of scientists have shown that the vessels grown from donor cells are good and natural alternative to synthetic vessels. Animal trials have shown promising results.
Diseases and Disasters
- Earthquake in Chile. Two people died of heart attack.
- Mexico’s Popo volcano throws glowing rocks. Residents of the semirural communities near the volcano have reported hearing hours of ‘low-pitched roaring’.
- About 14 students in Bangladesh have been reported suffering from H1N1.
- In Sri Lanka, dengue fever killed 38, infects 10,000 in a few months.
- A mystery skin disease killed 19 in Vietnam. Officials seeking international assistance on this issue.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.