Tag Archives: measles

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • First UN International Day of fistula marked in Ghana to ensure that victims were treated and re-integrated into society in Ghana.

Politics and Policies:

  • The government of Mauritius is preparing to enforce new laws for more graphic warnings on cigarette packs.
  • Voters in Portland have defeated measures to add fluoride to water supply.
  • The Texas House passed a measure that would prevent the state from expanding its Medicaid program.
  • Abortion Law (procedure at the 12th week of pregnancy) in Arkansas is temporarily blocked by a federal judge.

Programs:

  • The World Bank has announced $1 billion in a proposed new funding to help countries in the Africa’s Great Lakes Region to provide better health and education services besides targeting energy, roads, agriculture, cross-border trade and jobs.
  • United Nations Family Planning Innovation to launch two new initiatives that will increase access to family planning and improve maternal health in the world’s most marginalized areas.
  • The Business of a Better World (BSR) has launched an online platform to create culturally accurate training materials on women’s health in developing countries.
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced its contribution of $750,000 to the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign in sub-Sahara Africa.
  • Power to childcare centers ban unvaccinated children in Queensland.
  • An independent organization, Save the Children has received a contribution of $500,000 to support its ongoing flood relief efforts in Mozambique.
  • An emergency preparedness ad response center is being launched by the experts from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Fukushima, Japan.
  • United Nations refugee agency is working to help to contain cholera epidemic in Niger by implementing emergency sanitation and prevention measures.
  • UNICEF is working to prevent further spread of measles in the Central African Republic.
  • Mass vaccination campaign contained the spread of meningitis in South Sudan. The meningitis outbreak was declared by the ministry of health on April 30.

 Research:

  • According to the reports the World Health Organization has applauded Eritrea on its accomplishments in combating malaria.
  • Most EU beaches get clean bill of health, by the European Environment Agency. It says vast majority are clean and safe.
  • According to a new study relaxation of marijuana laws in Colorado has caused significant spike in number of young children treated for accidentally eating marijuana-laced cookies, candies, brownies and beverages.
  • A report by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that one in ten parents did not talk to their teen children about dangers of consuming drugs, alcohol etc.
  • In the 66th World Health Assembly, the WHO has praised Thailand for the world’s best governance for medicine.
  • According to the United Nations Report, the number of people in Africa receiving antiretroviral treatment has increased from less than 1 million to 7.1 million over the seven years.
  • According to a report released by the United Nations Japan must continue efforts to deactivate Fukushima nuclear plant.
  • In a report released by the United Nations greater efforts and more resources are needed to improve health of Palestinian refugees.
  • A study shows that potatoes and beans provide most nutrients per penny.
  • According to a study conducted by Dr. Bassiouny at Kornberg School of Dentistry, diet soda might be as bad for teeth health as taking methamphetamines or crack cocaine.
  • According to a study published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, two compounds found in cinnamon can play a role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • A research presented at the Heart Failure Congress 2013, heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS).
  • The scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an injectable nanogel that can monitor blood-sugar levels and secrete insulin when treated.
  • A study revealed that the people who were interviewed while eating at fast food restaurants typically underestimate the calorie count of the meal in front of them by a large margin.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • A category EF-5 storm killed 24 people, injured many and damaged and estimated 12,000 homes in Moore, Oklahoma on May 20.
  • A parliamentary committee has revealed that since last year in Zimbabwe, more than 45,000 people have died due to HIV-related ailments and around 1.2 million people are living with this virus.
  • Disease kills children, causes miscarriages in camps near Nyala, South Darfur.
  • According to Tunisia Ministry of Health, SARS- like virus is being reported spreading among the people of country.

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (Gambia) in collaboration with WHO UNICEF, Rotary International and other partners  observe  the week of May 2013 (from 24- 27) as National Immunization (NIDs) days against poliomyelitis.
  • May is skin Cancer Awareness Month.
  • May 19 was observed as National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Politics and Policies:

  • Kenya is the first country to protect girls against cervical cancer with GAVI- supported human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.
  • The government of Canada has announced its support in the fight against tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS.
  • India’s health ministry is tying itself in knots over the ban of drugs that are banned in some countries and some cases for some population segments.
  • The Illinois Senate has voted to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Programs:

  • Zambia- Zimbabwe Cross Border Malaria Initiative, a joint co-ordination launched by Zambia and Zimbabwe to control malaria and accelerate reduction of its transmission among the border communities.
  • Merck and Glaxo cut price of Human Papilloma Virus drug in the poorest countries. This cut is more than 95%.
  • Nigeria seeks support on guinea worm eradication.
  • Ghana Health Service has launched the country’s first online based health service which allows patients to engage with doctors online over minor ailments.
  • The Gambia and the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a Comprehensive Tobacco Control formulation in Bakau.
  • India develops cheap vaccine (against Rotavirus) against major cause of diarrhea deaths in children.
  • The Child Division at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) is working to introduce pneumococcal vaccine against pneumonia- major cause of death among children less than five years of age in the country.

 Research:

  • According to Cervical Cancer Crisis card that used data from official reports by the World Health Organization, Africa has the highest cervical cancer deaths.
  • According to the 2011 National HIV Indicator Survey, prevalence rates among the Ugandans between ages of 15 to 19 are rising.
  • The Annual State of the World’s Mothers report states that every year three million babies die within the first month of life.
  • A study published shows that HIV prevalence and late diagnosis of HIV infection is high among young women with sexual risk behavior in Beira, Mozambique.
  • According to a Global Mother’s Wellbeings ranking report, Ghana ranks 146th out of 176 countries.
  • According to the Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination Initiative partners, landmark has reached in fight against tetanus. It has been eliminated in over half of 59 priority countries.
  • According to a study, number of Australian parents with mental illness has increased by 3% every year from 1990 to 2005.
  • The findings of a study published in the World Allergy Organization Journal, children dwelling in commercial areas of New Delhi, India are most susceptible as compared to those living in other parts of the capital, to the respiratory ailments followed by industrial and residential areas.
  • A study shows that the paradoxical TB-IRIS frequently complicates HIV-TB therapy in India.
  • A paper published in The Lancet Oncology, say that if current trends in cancer among the people of Latin America and Caribbean continue, the region will see cancer cases soaring by third each year to reach 16.8 million in total by 2020.
  • According to a study health of the immigrants suffer as they live longer in the U.S.
  • According to a study, newer whooping cough vaccine is as protective as was thought to be.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • According to the reports Zambia is facing shortage of HIV medicines.
  • Heavy rains have caused flooding of both Nyamamba and Nyamugasani rivers in Uganda. It has caused heavy flooding which has displaced thousands of people.
  • Two cases of wild polio virus have been recorded in Tafa Local government area of Niger and Fagge in Kano respectively in Nigeria.
  • Reports have indicated that African mineworkers are at significant risk of becoming resistant to tuberculosis treatment.
  • Body of a man who died in an unnamed hospital as having suffered from Creutzfeld –Jakob disease has been identified by the L. Greenberg Forensic Institute at Abu Kabir.  According to the Health Ministry danger of being infected under normal conditions are negligible.
  • A travel alert has been issued for dengue fever in Thailand. About 33 deaths have been reported since April of this year, particularly in northeastern part of the country.
  • According to the reports more than 1200 new cases of measles have been reported this year. Health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing this growing epidemic.

 

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

 

Politics and Policies:

  • Judge strikes down age restrictions for ‘Morning after’ pill. Now it will be available to girls less than 17 years of age.
  • Health ministry of Liberia has adopted guidelines for mother to baby care with an aim to fight maternal mortality.
  • Health ministry of Rwanda has taken over a 11 year project which cost $ 2,718,000 with a goal of increasing access to and use of Fertility Awareness- based Methods.
  • The World Health Organization has called on the public to remain calm as human infections of new bird flu strain H7N9 are isolated.
  • New food health labeling standard is signed by the Food Safety Minister of New Zealand.

Programs:

  • An NGO of Australia is supporting Ethiopian government to enhance food security and improve maternal and child health in Ethiopia.
  • Targeting the improvement of health sector in Ethiopia, the World Bank and the Ethioian Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) signed a 120 million dollar loan and grant agreement.
  • A book on Health promotion in Ghana launched. It evaluated the challenges of health promotion in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • According to the Vatican’s diplomatic mission, Pope Francis has donated $50,000 to help victims of the deadly floods .
  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has shut down seven HIV/AIDS clinics in Kenya.
  • A Danish firm aims to improve health, environment in Mozambique.
  • Australian and local NGOs are working together in Zambia to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in Western Province.
  • Hong Kong has launched fast bird flu tests for H5 and H7 viruses. The government will raise the response from ‘alert’ to ‘serious’ if virus is detected in poultry or people in Hon Kong.

Research:

  • According to a study brisk walking does the same benefit as running in heart disease patient. It reduces the chances of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Lack of dental services a factor in grades, attendance in state schools. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, ‘dental disease is at “epidemic” levels among California children’.
  • A study states that balding men are at a higher risk for heart disease. They also found that there was no significant correlation with Chronic Heart Disease.
  • A study published in editorial annals of Internal Medicine found a link between hormone therapy like Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) boosts heart disease risk.
  • Studies suggest that happy loving relationships are prescription to a healthy long life.
  • A study published in The Journal of the North America Menopause Society, a Chinese herbal supplement can help to reduce hot flushes of menopause.
  • According to a study, health problems and low income, not xenophobia creates a lack of well- being.
  • According to a study, higher  mercury levels is linked to higher diabetes risk. The team examined the toe nail mercury levels to diabetes risk.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • More than 600 children have been reported to have contracted measles in an outbreak in South Wales.
  • After one of its longtime members nearly died of a lung infection caused by fungi growing inside his bag, a prominent Scottish bagpiping school has warned pipers around the world.
  • The Kenya Red Cross society has warned that the floods in Kisumu may be a health risk due to water borne diseases.
  • According to the reports the death toll in Argentina due to floods rises to 57.
  • China has fast-tracked the approval of a new drug in an attempt to contain an outbreak of a new strain of bird flu known as H7N9.
  • Moderate earth quake measuring 5.8 on Richters scale hits Kashmir valley on Aril 4th. No damage to life or property has been reported.
  • Massive earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude rocks Indonesia on 6th April. No tsunami warning has been issued.
  • According to the reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude -6 undersea earthquake had hit eastern Japan on April 2nd.
  • Mild earthquake measuring 4.5 was felt in Kutch in Gujarat. No reports of casualties or property damage.

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The European Union has provided more than Euros 250 million for the multi-annual cooperation program in Angola. This project focuses on rural development of the country by providing / improving various facilities including health, education, water and sanitation etc.
  • The government of United States has signed an agreement to fund $31,075,000 to Benin to help the country in the areas of health and gender equality.
  • Smoking faces ban in Mental hospitals in U.S.
  • Genetic changes to food may get uniform labeling in the United States.

Programs:

  • The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has committed US$12.6 million to the government of Liberia for its fight against the deadly HIV/AIDS.
  • A five-year partnership program has been signed between the Government of Liberia and Chevron-Liberia limited in collaboration with the Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Texas (US) to provide pediatric health services to the children of Liberia.
  • SOS Childrens Villages and Johnson & Johnson has announced nursing and mid-wifery scholarship program to provide family-based care for the orphaned and abandoned children in Ethiopia.
  • The University of The Gambia (UTG) has launched a Global Environmental and Occupational center (GO Health) in Collaboration College of Public Health, University of Iowa, US in Faraba Banta, Kombo East. The National Institute of Health (NIH) is funding the projects. The center will conduct research and training to improve health of the people in the West- African sub-region and beyond.
  • The United Nations Mission in Liberia Ghana Battalion 16 has donated items worth $1000 to 37 military hospitals to improve health care delivery.
  • The GAVI Alliance has announced a campaign to offer vaccination against cancer caused by human papilloma virus in girls in eight developing nations of the world.
  • Project Concern International has launched a program with MedAwareness which will focus on reducing HIV among Malawi soldiers and their partners through sustained behavior change.
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have launched an appeal for Mozambique flood victims.
  • Reach Out To Asia (Rota) is launching its educational and community initiatives in Tunisia with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles among the families.
  • The Ministry of Health of Uganda has launched a four year nationwide initiative to provide affordable screening and treatment of cervical cancer for Ugandan women.
  • The US Agency for International Development (USAID) with Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) has launched “Health for Life” to strengthen the Government of Nepal’s capacity to plan, manage and deliver high quality and equitable family planning, maternal, newborn and child health services.

Research:

  • Findings of a study titled Global Mercury Hotspots indicate that Cameroon’s fishes have extremely high concentrations of mercury.
  • A study shows that the rise of treatment-resistant strains of tuberculosis in the third world countries might be due to the increase in sale of fake or substandard drugs of tuberculosis in those parts of the world.
  • A study drug shows positive results for the treatment of recurrent low grade carcinoma of ovaries.
  • According to the fourth annual edition of IHME financing series on the theme:Financing Global Health 2012: The End of the Golden Age” the Global Health funding is coming to an end.
  • According to the results of a recent study revaccinating persons with HIV-1 infection who do not respond to the HBV vaccine schedule may help the people.
  • Researchers have found new ways of interventions for the people suffering from HIV who inject drugs. They will target these groups with needle and syringe programs, medically assisted therapy and HIV counseling and testing.
  • A study states that people who drink black tea are less likely to develop type2 diabetes. The study also showed that high tea consumption was related to lower levels of obesity.
  • According to IRIN, Uganda’s childhood immunization program is facing challenges due to inadequate funding, shortage of staff and poor adherence to vaccination schedules.
  • A study done by a group of American researchers have shown a possibility of the virus causing whooping cough develop resistance to the vaccines.
  • According to a study there is link between smoking marijuana and higher risk of stroke among the young adults.
  • Data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that one of every three adults with mental illness smokes, compared with one in five adults without mental illness.
  • Reports from a study done by Harvard School of Public health show that men who view more than 20 hours of TV have a 44% lower sperm count as compared to those who watch almost no television.
  • According to APA’s annual report, Americans aged between 18- 34 years have a higher level of stress as compared to the parents and grandparents generation.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • A strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked southwestern Columbia on Saturday February 9th.
  • Britain is facing one of its biggest out breaks of measles. Reports indicate that the victims of this outbreak are either teenagers who are not vaccinated or who did not get full course.
  • Reports indicate death of more than 94 people in India due to Swine Flu since January this year. Most of the cases have been reported from the state of Rajasthan.
  • Housing crisis and human waste issues threatens health in Zimbabwe. Thousands of cases of waterborne disease, typhoid have been reported since last few months.
  • About 88 people have been reported dead because of the deadly hepatitis E outbreak in South Sudan.
  • Health experts in Bangladesh have reported fresh outbreaks of Nipah virus. About ten people have died since last week.

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • Medical Insurance bill has been passed by the lawmakers in Rwanda on Friday.
  • Chinese government has signed U.S. $35 million loan agreement with Rwanda which includes the projects for the improvement of health of people.
  • According to the Food and Health Bureau in Hong Kong, the country will not accept any bookings by pregnant non-local women for delivery in Hong Kong starting January1, 2013.
  • Sindh government (Pakistan) has ordered mandatory vaccination of children against measles virus.
  • In order to boost anti-AIDS program and prolong lives Brazil will track the numbers of HIV cases in the country.
  • New air pollution standards for industrial boilers have been issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Alabama (U.S.) to end isolation of inmates with H.I.V.

Programs:

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $5 million to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to promote use of oral cholera vaccine worldwide.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with International Telecommunications union (ITU) has launched “mHeath” initiative to fight diseases in Africa.
  • $40mn health care city project by the UAE based Tasweek Real Estate Marketing and Development is estimated to be completed in 2 years and will be the largest health and tourist project in Morocco.
  • World Vision Rwanda has launched its global advocacy campaign “Child Health Now Campaign” aimed at reducing the preventable deaths of children who are under five years of age.
  • The World Health Organization (The WHO) offers review of key global public health issues- says the key public health milestones were reached in 2012.
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)’s tablet Sirturo wins FDA approval to treat drug – resistant tuberculosis.
  • A free-to-play mobile game available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (THRED) has been launched by Coca-Cola Company with (RED) to raise the awareness and funds for the fight to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.

Research:

  • A study done in Britain revealed that the female students consume alcohol more than males.
  • A study done by the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) states that to beat AIDS related deaths it is important to improve Tb-HIV collaborative services.
  • A study done by the United Nations (The UN) states that the Philippines has failed to curb the spread of HIV virus. It has reported a 25% increase in the incidence rate of this deadly infection among the adult’s ages 15-49 years from 2001- 2011.
  • A report released by the WHO states that infant mortality rate is high in Uganda. More than 7 million children below the age of five years died in 2011 alone.
  • Researchers from Australia and Britain have found a link between milk producing protein and aggressive breast cancer in females.
  • According to a recent study sleep apnea is as detrimental to heart health as diabetes. The researchers found that snoring could be a warning sign for OSA or even a sign that serious heart problems could be developing.
  • Dutch scientists state that junk food and genes can deliver colon cancer.
  • According to a journal Nature Genetics three uncommon genetic variants influence the production of insulin.
  • Scientists have sequenced the genome of a fungus called Pneumocystis jirovecii , laying the groundwork for new ways to treat a strain of pneumonia.
  • A study published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology state that the lifestyle parameters are linked to cardiovascular disease.
  • A study published in Diabetes Care stated that women who experienced early menopause have a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • A study reported in British Medically Journal suggests that gluten free diet helps to fight type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • According to the experts the outbreak of yellow fever in Sudan is among the worst faced by it in the past twenty years.
  • Shortage of typhoid vaccine in UK has led the doctors to warn travelers to developing countries in areas with poor sanitation.
  • The Center for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department Hong Kong has called on parents to refrain from feeding their babies with an infant formula imported from Japan.
  • According to the Palestinian health official outbreak of swine flu has killed nine people in the country.
  • Japan suspects norovirus outbreak in Yokohama hospital in southern Tokyo. The authorities say that the infection has killed four elderly people.
  • According to the Pakistani authorities, 33 people have been suspected to die due to consumption of a cough syrup.
  • The U.S. State Department has issued a revised travel advisory on the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country- Haiti about violent crime, infectious disease and poor medical facilities in Haiti.

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • House rejects bill to ban sex-selective abortions. It was a measure that sought to impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions on women who are trying to select the gender of their offspring.
  • The Agriculture department (US) has announced that it would expand testing for E.coli in raw beef trimmings.
  • California announces intent to award four medi-cal contracts to health net of California subsidiary.
  • Wolk’s flu bill passes Senate moves to assembly. This bill would require hospitals and clinics to reach a 90% vaccination rate among their health-care workers by 2015 or adopt masking requirement for those who decline flu shots.
  • Federal disability law does not cover medical marijuana patients. A panel of the appeals court threw out the patient’s lawsuit, which had charged that some California cities were violating the ADA by shuttering medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Medical marijuana is legal in Connecticut. A law has been signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy approving its use, a measure that includes strict regulations in an attempt to any avoid problems. Qualifying patients and their primary caregivers would be able to possess a combined one-month supply of marijuana.
  • A ban that would impose a 16 ounce limit on any sugary bottled or fountain drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces in New city restaurants, delis and movie theaters was proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Programs:

  • World Health Organization (WHO) award for reproductive health was given out at the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva.  It was awarded to four countries- Rwanda, Nepal, Malawi, Ethiopia and Yemen.
  • Norway will provide up to NOK 500 million over a five year period for health in developing countries, which will be used to help women and babies through childbirth and the critical first 24 hours after delivery.
  • The first pilot waste water treatment plant with integrated wood production opened in Mongolia. It is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Model region Mongolia (MoMo) project.

 Research

  • According to a recent study, people suffering from pneumonia with high blood sugar level are at a greater risk of death. The team found that those with diabetes had highest risk (14%) followed by those with hyperglycemia not diabetes (10%) and those without diabetes and normal glucose levels had lowest rates (3%).
  • In a recent study, researchers found that taking common painkillers might reduce chances of getting skin cancer.
  • Consumption of oil rich Mediterranean foods such as fish and sea food helps to improve physical and mental well-being.
  • Global research team yields new health insights into different types of trans fats. The findings strengthen the evidence that unlike industrial Trans fats, natural trans fats produced by ruminant animals are not harmful and have an health enhancing potential.
  • Soon a breath test will help to detect deadly tuberculosis bacteria in 6 minutes. However the doctors say that it cannot replace the sputum test which will remain the gold standard.
  • Researchers from Melbourne’s Burnet Institute said that reducing the prevalence of the disease among the drug users could also lead to a drop in infections across the wider populations.
  • Breakthrough drug may extend life of women suffering from deadly breast cancer. According to the daily mail newspaper it could be available in Britain within a year if it passes regulatory checks.
  • According to a research released last week, a drug already approved for prostate cancer has been shown to slow the spread of advance forms of this disease. In the patients treated with drug, the cancer did not worsen for 16 months as compared to 8.3 months in the group that did not receive this drug.
  • Premature babies are 4.5 times more likely to suffer from severe mental health problems. The study reveals that those born after just seven months in the womb or earlier are at highest risk compared with full-term babies.
  • According to a recent study a link between poor asthma control and eczema was seen among Brazilian urban children.
  • A study indicates that allergies (specifically allergies to plants, grass and trees) are linked to higher cancer risk. The researchers say that these allergies cause inflammation which may lead to an overactive immune system- and that over activity can in turn lead to blood cancer.

Diseases & Disasters

  • 6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes Panama’s pacific coast. There are no reports of injuries or deaths and no tsunami is expected.
  • A strong earth tremor of 5.1 magnitude hit northern Italy on Sunday. This area was struck by the deadly quakes in the last two weeks.
  • Measles outbreak in west Cork concerns Irish health officials. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is advising patients to vaccinate their children against viral disease.
  • Tuberculosis infected beef sold in Edo (Benin). On inspection it was seen that it has nodular lesions which enveloped on the surface of the various organs of the slaughtered cow.
  • A new strain of flu is likely to spread through Australia. It is likely to replace swine flu that emerged in 2009. Flu shots are available for people aged 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic disease as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Bird flu found in 21 poultry farms out of 85 in Bangladesh this year.
  • Hong Kong officials have confirmed H5N1 strain of avian influenza. They have confirmed it being the first human case of bird flu since November 2010 in Hong Kong.
  • Greek crisis spurs epidemic of suicides and mental illness.
  • New Mexico man is the first human plague case in the U.S. this year. The department of health press release has confirmed that the man is infected with Yersinia pestis.

 

 

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

Programs

 

Research

Diseases and Disasters

Weekly Global Health News Round-Up

World AIDS Day was observed on December 1st by the CDC and its partners from around the globe. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/worldaidsday/?s_cid=fb1285) According to the report by the World Health Organization (WHO) there has been 15% reduction of new infections and a 22% decline in death due to this deadly virus. (Source: http://www.who.int/en/)

The Guardian has put out a global map showing the level of corruption country-by-country based on data from Transparency International. (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/dec/01/world-corruption-index-transparency-international-map)

Politics and Policies:

Programs:

Research:

Diseases and Disasters:

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

Global Health News Last Week

SECTION NEWS
Attention IH section members! We are still in need of moderators for the scientific sessions at this year’s annual meeting. According to our program committee, the following sessions are still available:

Monday, October 31
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: International Health Programs & Policy 1

2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Act Global, Think Local: Domestic applications of international health lessons; Child Survival & Child Health 1

Tuesday, November 1
8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Builidng Partnerships and Coalitions for better International Programs; Emerging, Re-emerging & Neglected Tropical Diseases

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: International Health Communication/ Behavior Change Communication

12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m.: HIV/AIDS 2

Wednesday, November 2
8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: HIV/AIDS 3; Innovations in International Health 2

Please contact Omar Khan (ih.apha@gmail.com) for more information, or to volunteer!


USAID celebrated its 50-year anniversary this week.

The benefits of breastfeeding are being showcased around the world
for Breast Feeding Week.

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • US organizations will find it easier to deliver aid to parts of Somalia controlled by a pro-Al Qaeda group – the threat of prosecution if it ends up in the wrong hands has been reduced  after an announcement by the State Department.
  • Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez was sworn in as the new Assistant Administrator for the Global Health Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • Although Congress resolved the debt ceiling debate, the way the budget package is being shaped — particularly by combining International Affairs with defense in a single “security” category, global poverty spending is getting severely handicapped.
  • Blood tests for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis may be putting patients’ lives at risk through providing misleading results, and should not be used, according to a WHO policy statement.

PROGRAMS

  • The inaugural charter of the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders was signed at Temple University yesterday.
  • Tom Paulson of Humanosphere breaks down the 2010 Gates Foundation annual report, with some interesting commentary.
  • Jaclyn Schiff of UN Dispatch says we can look for more global health leadership coming from the city of Houston (my hometown!), as Dr. Peter Hotez, whom Schiff calls “an international health force of nature,” and an arm of the Sabin Vaccine Institute move there.
  • The Measles Initiative today announced it has helped vaccinate one billion children in more than 60 developing countries since 2001, making significant gains in the global effort to stop measles.
  • India’s health minister announced Tuesday a new initiative underway to boost the country’s rate of immunizing newborns by collecting mobile phone numbers of all pregnant mothers to monitor their babies’ vaccinations.

RESEARCH

  • A multi-resistant strain of Salmonella Kentucky could be spreading globally, suggests a study by Institut Pasteur. Case numbers have risen in Europe and the US, and infections have also been acquired in various parts of Africa and the Middle East. The strain has also been found in food animals in Africa.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturer iBio, Inc announced the successful animal testing of a malaria vaccine candidate in trials sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • A new study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene shows a relationship between a kind of river flow and cholera outbreaks.
  • A new study in the Lancet shows that text messaging can be an effective tool in malaria treatment and prevention.
  • PLoS Medicine published a new study on HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa. Among its key findings was the startling fact that sex between men (MSM) accounts for nearly one quarter of all new HIV infections across the region.
  • According to a new study, children of depressed mothers in developing countries are 40 percent more likely to be underweight or stunted than those with mothers in good mental health.
  • A cheap and portable blood test could provide a breakthrough for diagnosing infections in remote areas of the world, a scientific study says.
  • Using WHO data, researchers found that children who experience abuse and develop mental health disorders are at increased risk for chronic physical problems later in life.
  • A new study in the journal Nature Medicine finds that a credit card shaped device used for testing HIV, known as “Lab-on-a-Chip,” has had a successful trial run in Rwanda.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • Mass treatment of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis with ivermectin has been hampered by severe reactions if the patient also has Loa loa. A new map developed by WHO’s African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control will help communities identify low risk areas for Loa loa and distribute ivermectin for lymphatic filariasis control safely.
  • The CDC reports that the annual number of HIV infections in the USA is holding steady at about 50,000, and that African American MSM are at particular risk.
  • AIDS remains a metaphor for inequality, argues Michel Sidibe in the LA Times. In the world’s wealthier nations, where access to medicine is widespread, AIDS is becoming a chronic disease rather than a death sentence. But in the eveloping world, 1.8 million people die of AIDS each year.
  • Global cholera incidence has increased since 2000, with Haiti’s large outbreak tipping the largest burden away from Africa for the first time since 1995, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday.
  • Tens of thousands of Somalis have died and more than half-a-million children are on the brink of starvation. Western aid isn’t flowing to where the worst of the famine is — partly due to the “war on terror.”
  • The head of World Food Program in Ethiopia says the country’s emergency food stocks are almost gone, the latest trouble caused by the drought in the Horn of Africa.

TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING – Apparently Hollywood has discovered its next Greg Mortenson: Sam Childers, the “Machine Gun Preacher,” is the subject of much hubbub and an upcoming movie starring Gerard Butler.  This man claims to have been a gangbanger and drug dealer who found Jesus and then took up arms to rescue child soldiers from the LRA.  Global health blogger Brett Keller offers some commentary into Childers’ outlandish (and, frankly, dubious) story, while anonymous aid blogger “J” at Tales from the Hood has a few choice words.

Global Health News Last Week

SECTION NEWS

The 2011 IH Section award winners have been announced!

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Henry Mosley
  • Mid-Career Award: Neil Arya
  • Service to Section Award: Donna Barry
  • Gordon Wyon Award: John Bryant

Congratulations to this year’s awardees!  They will be honored at the section social on Monday night of this year’s Annual Meeting, so don’t miss it!


July 11 was World Population Day.  In honor of WPD this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a greater focus on providing improved health to mothers and children.

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • Last week, a United States federal appeals court overturned  a George W. Bush-era “anti-prostitution pledge” that required all organizations that receive US funds to fight HIV and AIDS to adopt a formal position condemning prostitution and trafficking.
  • Uganda’s legislative body has passed a bill that will criminalize  the intentional spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • An in-depth report by Gregg  Carlstrom for Al Jazeera examines the state of the new Republic  of South Sudan’s health systems. Future plans appear to be in the right direction, but the present health situation is dire for the newly established
    country.
  • U.S. officials are defending  the CIA’s use of a vaccination program in the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden amid concerns from international aid groups that the operation  could compromise future public health efforts in Pakistan. The CIA orchestrated a hepatitis vaccination program in the city of Abbottabad in a bid to collect DNA evidence to help identify the location of bin Laden family members.
  • A growing reluctance from donor countries to provide funds to help ever-wealthier China battle HIV/AIDS will adversely affect efforts against the disease’s spread, says Michel Sidibe, head of UNAIDS.

PROGRAMS

  • The Medicines Patent Pool, established by UNITAID to share drug patents, has just received its first contribution from Gilead Sciences. This will allow Indian generics companies to make cheap copies of some of the best HIV/AIDS drugs.

RESEARCH

  • A new study has shown that ARVs taken by women with HIV/AIDS may have an effect on fertility.
  • The United Nations praised a study showing that the use of ARVs by people with HIV can reduce chance of infection between partners by 73%.
  • Mosquitoes are growing increasingly resistant to pyrethroids, the only insecticides approved by the WHO for use on bednets.
  • HIV/AIDS drugs can be used to provide additional protection against infection as well as for treatment of those already affect by the disease, according to results of two studies conducted in Africa.
  • Researchers in Tanzania are developing a device that uses the scent of malodorous human socks to attract mosquitoes in the wild, then poisons them. Donations of $775,000 announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada are intended to reduce the global infection rate of malaria by producing an affordable outdoor trap ranging in cost from between $4 and $27.
  • A new study says that an inexpensive de-worming pill can help people become deadly to malaria-carrying mosquitoes, but for the pill to work, nearly everyone in a community would have to take the pill at the same time — and repeat monthly. The drug reduces insect lifespan, helping against malaria because only the older mosquitoes can transmit it.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • The World Health Organization says the world is better prepared for the next influenza pandemic. The centerpiece of the plan is to strengthen the capacity of manufacturers to provide enough vaccines to immunize the world’s population against influenza.
  • The WHO has certified that Uganda has successfully eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus.
  • According to a report published in March 2011 by the United Nations Environment Programme, only two in every five people in the Southern Africa have access to safe water for drinking and household use. Three quarters of those lacking access, live in rural areas and the majority of these are women and children.
  • The CDC has expressed concern over the recently discovered strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to all present antibiotic treatments.
  • Drug manufacturers, government representatives and pharmacists from six countries in East Africa have estimated that as much as 30 percent of all drugs on the market are either of very poor quality or counterfeit medicines.
  • A lack of financial support and political will are contributing to the upsurge of measles in 33 countries. In an video interview, Andrea Gay at Measles Initiative, explains the different reasons for measles outbreaks in the developing and developed countries.
  • The number of children facing death by starvation in Somalia has almost doubled since March and the country’s child malnutrition rate is now the highest in the world, the International Committee of the Red Cross warns. Aid agencies have struggled to reach Somalis affected by drought due to security concerns across the conflict-ravaged country.

Global Health News Last Week

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • Attacks on aid workers are on the increase and one writer believes this largely due to the current “integrated mission” focus of the UN and other donors.
  • If the Global Fund is to avoid further adverse media coverage and further consequent donor nervousness, it must urgently implement a more effective and fine-tuned approach to the issues of corruption and transparency.
  • The families of two women who died in childbirth are starting a legal action against the government of Uganda, alleging that the inadequate care and facilities provided for pregnant women caused the deaths and violates their country’s constitution and women’s rights to life and health.
  • The results of a recent bombshell study revealing the impact of taking ARVs and the spread of HIV has the Obama administration doing some serious pondering over the impact of a policy change.
  • The elimination of mother-to-child transmission has become the focus of Rwanda’s ministry of health for reducing the rate of HIV.
  • The states in India have been directed by the central government to provide free healthcare to pregnant women and sick neonatal children effective June 1.
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has frozen payments on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of disease-fighting grants to China, one of the charity’s biggest recipients, in a dispute over China’s management of the grants and its hostility toward involving grass-roots organizations in public health issues.
  • Government think-tanks in China and India have recommended a jointly funded initiative to strengthen traditional medicine innovations in both countries.

PROGRAMS

  • In Ghana, the Oxytocin Initiative Project has begun testing whether community health workers can safely and effectively prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
  • ‘Tupange’ is the name of a new outreach program in Kenya that hopes to increase and sustain contraceptive use among urban women.

RESEARCH

  • Researchers discuss the new developments in vaccines for HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB in the scientific journal Nature.
  • Vuvuzelas – the horns used by football fans celebrating last year’s World Cup – not only cause noise pollution but may also spread diseases, say experts. In crowded venues one person blowing a vuvuzela could infect many others with airborne illness like the flu or TB. Mercifully, organisers are considering whether to ban them at the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the Global Peace Index tries to measure peace. This year has seen the world become less peaceful for the third year in a row – and highlights what it says is a continuing threat of terrorism.
  • It may be against the law, but wealthier, better-educated families in India are choosing more and more often to abort pregnancies if the child is female, researchers in Canada and India report in the Lancet.
  • Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston find that diabetics have a higher risk of contracting TB.
  • Lancet once called it “potentially the most important medical advance of the 20th century.” But today, oral rehydration therapy (ORT) — a simple treatment often consisting of a home solution of sugar, salt and water — is under-used, causing untold deaths of children.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING ELSE: Apparently, to Nigerians, Bill and Melinda Gates do not look like rich people.

Global Health News Last Week

After the Lancet retracted the controversial Wakefield study last February, which suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, BMJ has declared the study to be fraudulent after further investigation revealed that the author stood to make millions of dollars through lawsuits and diagnostic kits related to autism.

Kofi Annan urges the WHO executive board to set a date for measles eradication during their meeting, which will last until January 25.

Engineers Without Borders, Canada, is trying to change the way aid organizations represent their projects (and their failures) by launching Admittingfailure.com, a website where organizations can post their favorite failure. They hope to encourage groups to admit to, and learn from, their failures.

The Center for Global Development has posted an MDG progress index, which allows the user to see how different nations are progressing toward the MDG targets.

A research paper debunked claims made by UN environmental organizations that insecticide-free methods used in a malaria control project were effective at reducing transmission, thus making the case to stop the use of DDT.

End the Neglect posted a reading list on Thursday.

Developing nations continue to pressure the US and Russia to destroy their stocks of smallpox, though the WHO supports retention for research purposes.

Unlike many other countries, which are making progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Russia’s HIV epidemic is getting worse due to pervasive drug addiction. Meanwhile, religious leaders in Chechnya have declared the couples must obtain proof that they are HIV-negative in order to receive permission to marry.