Tag Archives: non-communicable diseases

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will begin exercising its authority given under a 2009 law, power to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products that they believe pose public health risks.
  • In an effort intensify campaign to publicize new health insurance options and to persuade consumers, the White House is recruiting mayors, county commissioners and other local officials.

Programs:

  • A health check program has been launched in Accra, in order to reach out to the people of Ghana who are challenged with non-communicable diseases (NCDS), in an affordable and effective way.
  • The United Kingdom (UK) is starting a rotavirus vaccination program to protect the babies from infection which causes diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever and dehydration.
  • Ben & Catherine Ivy foundation grants more that $9 million for brain cancer research.

Research:

  • To help avert 3 million AIDS deaths by 2025, the World Health Organization (WHO) through its guidelines is recommending the patients the start medicine at earlier stage of the deadly disease.
  • According to global Diabetes attitudes, wishes and needs 2 study one in five people with diabetes feel discriminated against them because of their condition. About 16% people suffering from this condition are at risk of depression.
  • According to the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Ghana cuts new HIV infections among children by 76% since 2009. It states that one three in ten children in need of treatment have access to it.
  • A report released by the United Nations state that Nigeria has highest number of children with HIV/AIDS virus in the world. It states that the incidence rate has not increased much but the increase in the prevalence rate has remained stagnant.
  • According to the scientists, new World Health Organization (WHO) test- based approach against malaria does not work everywhere. There must be a hard diagnosis before the disease is treated.
  • According to the research results published in the Journal of Infectious diseases, infant rotavirus vaccine is effective against this disease in Ghana. Results showed a significant response in parameters of efficacy, safety and immune impact of vaccine.
  • A study published in the journal’ Diabetologia’, ethnicity should be considered while making guidelines for physical activity. They state that south Asians need more exercise than white Europeans to reduce diabetes risk.
  • According to a research review published in BMJ, high consumption of fish reduces risk of breast cancer by 14%. It replenishes the body with all omega 3 essential fatty acids which can only be acquired from external sources as body cannot manufacture it.
  •  In a study published in Cell Transplantation journal, type 2 diabetes patients who receive self-donated bone marrow stem cells require less insulin. According to the scientist’s good glycemic control appeared as a critical factor in the transplanted and non-transplanted control group.
  • A study indicates that consuming more than 2-3 standard alcohol drinks per day is linked to deadly digestive tract cancers including mouth, throat, larynx and esophageal. They also warn of risk of bowel, breast and prostate cancers.
  • The scientists have found out that the patients of Crohn’s disease also have a virus – enterovirus in their intestines as compared to those who did not have this disease. It also said that the genes associated with the onset of this disease are vital for the immune response against this virus.
  • According to the researcher’s malaria parasite are full of iron which they cannot digest nor can excrete them. Their invention- hand-held battery operated malaria detector will use the power of magnets to detect them.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • Reports state that Lusaka (Zambia) records approximately 185 new HIV/ AIDS infections every day. It has high prevalence rate of 20.8 percent as compared to the other districts of Zambia.
  • The cholera epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo claims lives of 257 people. Lack of proper sanitation and clear water are stated to be the main cause of the outbreak.
  • Polio outbreak in Somalia jeopardizes global eradication. Before this there was no case of this disease for more than five years. This outbreak is reported in its early stages and WHO experts see more cases coming in next few weeks.
  • A report released by Greenpeace suggests that a Chinese herbal medicine contains a variety of pesticides. It is increasingly accepted in the western countries for medicinal use.
  • Reports have shown a new trend of HIV infection among the youths of Manipur (India). Unsafe sex practice has been indicated to be the major mode of HIV transmission among them.
  • According to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Diclofenac, a common painkiller raises the risk of heart attack and stroke among the patients with serious underlying heart conditions.
  • Health officials are warning that tularemia cases are on rise in New Mexico. Four cases have been so far been reported.
  • Japan and Poland are facing epidemic of rubella. Travel warnings have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the pregnant females visiting these countries.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  •  April 25, 2013 was World Malaria Day.
  • The International Labor Organization celebrates the World day for Safety and Health at Work on the 28th of April, 2013.

Politics and Policies:

  • The State House of Representatives voted to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions.
  • Health officials in Australia have recommended a heavy government subsidy for the abortifacient drug RU-486.

Programs:

  • First online mapping tool was launched in Kenya to tackle the burden of malaria by tracking insecticide resistance in malaria causing mosquitoes.
  • Healthcare workers expanding their vaccination programs in Somalia. The country is among the first few African Nations to receive new vaccines against five deadly diseases- diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and influenza.
  • Peace Corps volunteers on the occasion of World Malaria day participated in malaria eradication activities worldwide.
  • In their sixth ordinary session at the African Union the African Union Commission has called for more domestic investment in health to fight the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases and tropical diseases.
  • The Ministry of Heath of Ghana receives mobile clinic facilitates to boost health delivery and improving health care access to people.
  • Health groups at the United Nations –backed Global Vaccine Summit announced that they will get rid of polio by 2018 with $5.5 billion vaccination and monitoring plan to stop this disease.
  • The U.S Food and Drug Administration has announced the development of a new hand held device called C-3 capable of detecting substandard or counterfeit anti-malaria medicines.
  • World athletics governing body IAAF will open a blood test center (BTC) in Kenya’s rift Valley town of Eldoret for Kenyan and Ethiopian runners.
  • A donation of US $2.3 million has been announced by the Government of Japan to the United Nations World Food Program to assist people of Lesotho to help to boost food security.
  • Japan donates US$1.5 million to Nambia for its rapid reduction of child mortality, malaria related deaths and mother-to-child HIV transmission rates.
  • The Federal government of Canada will allocate $250 million between 2013 and 2018 to support eradication of polio in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
  • European Union has pledged more than 14.5 million euros to support Sudan health-related programs.

 Research:

  • The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung disease has issued guidelines for multidrug resistant tuberculosis bacteria management – appropriate treatment.
  • According to an analysis of previous studies published in the British Medical Journal, smokers with HIV were at double risk of contracting bacteria pneumonia compared to HIV-positive non-smokers.
  • According to the data obtained from a recently published study, childhood malaria admission rates in three out of four hospital chosen for the purpose of study in Malawi has increased between 2000- 2010. An increase from 41 to 100% was noted.
  • According to a survey more men die due to HIV related deaths as compared to women. It was due their living in denial and failed access to treatment.
  • A study published in American College of Nutrition suggests that intake of minerals zinc and chromium or taking zinc and or chromium supplements helps people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
  • According to a survey in done in the U.K., parents risk children’s future health by failing to understand sun protection.
  • In a study done by the Chinese scientists there is no evidence that new bid flu passes between people.
  • Haiti launches its vaccination campaign against fatal childhood diseases.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning to the people who are planning to travel to Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a nationwide shortage of products used in Tuberculosis skin testing.
  • The reports state that the outbreak of meningitis has killed at least 40 people in Guinea since the beginning of 2013. About 379 cases of this disease have been reported.
  • According to the reports communities in Northern Mali – Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal- are affected by food crises.
  • The bird flu H7N9 cases are rising in China. A total of 120 cases have been reported till now of which 23 deaths have been confirmed.
  • Air pollution rising in China. The level of air pollutants has risen to more than 40 times the recommended exposure limits.
  • According to the press release, two more human cases of avian influenza virus A – H7N9 has been verified by the Centre for Health protection (CHP) of the Department of Health of Hong Kong.
  • Reports have confirmed H7N9 bird flu in Taiwan.
  • According to the CDC, salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers grown in Mexico.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • National HIV testing day is Wednesday.

Politics and Policies

  • Health care proposal gives Louisiana more Medicaid spending flexibility.
  • Azerbaijan can prohibit abortion.

Programs

  • U.S. forces support anti-malaria health campaign in Africa.
  • Commonwealth to tackle non-communicable disease in West Africa. Meetings will explore plans to deal with NCD’s such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases.
  • Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan have teamed up with researchers in Ethiopia and Kenya in the two innovative projects to help deliver safer and more nutritious food in Africa through better plant breeding and soil management and a state-of-art vaccine for cattle.
  • McCann Health pledges to help end preventable child deaths; joins USAID’s new public-private partnership. It has announced $5 million commitment of in-kind resources and technical assistance to accelerate progress towards ending this problem.
  • United Nations and its partners have made a global appeal for $1.6 billion to provide humanitarian relief to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Gambia and Senegal.
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office in Gambia has recently supported the government of Gambia to respond to the severe malnutrition of children, by providing highly nutritious products.
  • DHL (Gambia office) donates 150 cartons of long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINS) to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as a part of contribution towards the fight against malaria in this country.
  • The government and donors have finalized plans for a Sh400 million cancer treatment and chronic diseases center in Eldoret (Kenya).
  • Council of Ministers in South Sudan has approved U.S. $173 million to construct 100 health units.
  • The Global Fund has resumed support to Zambia with a $100 million grant to help the country to fight AIDS.
  • India to receive Rs 20 crore healthcare grant from Norway to improve rural health services to further reduce child and maternal mortality.
  • Recall stops New Zealand tuberculosis vaccinations.

Research

  •  The scientists from the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories at the Institute of Metabolic Science, UK, have found the genes responsible for a disease in which parts of the body grow disproportionately. They found this disorder was linked to a mutation that drives cell growth.
  • According to recent study done by the researchers from Glasgow outdoor physical activities like walking, running, biking had a 50 percent greater positive effect on mental health than going to gym. They found that the activities through green space lowered the stress level.
  • A study published recently describes the biodiversity and epidemiology of drug-susceptible and drug-resistant tuberculosis in Ibadan, Nnewi and Abuja, using 409 DNAs extracted from culture positive TB isolates.
  • A research published in BMC Public Health by the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine indicates global weight gain more damaging than rising numbers. They say if the increasing levels of fatness are replicated globally it could mean the equivalent of an extra billion people on the planet.
  • A study brings forward unwanted pregnancy and associated factors among the pregnant married women in Hosanna town in Southern Ethiopia.
  • A survey named as ‘Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance among Migrant Female Sex Workers in Nairobi’ indicates that female sex workers from Somalia have a little knowledge about the deadly HIV/AIDS.
  • A new research at MIT could improve the ability of untrained workers to perform basic ultrasound tests, while allowing trained workers to much more accurately track the development of mental conditions such as the growth of a tumor or the buildup of plaque in arteries.
  • A study indicated that the oral health status of patients with mental disorders in Southwest Ethiopia is poor. There is a need to impart education about the oral hygiene to them.
  • A study shows how easily pandemic H5N1 bird flu could evolve. Their main conclusion was that this virus can acquire the ability of aerosol transmission between mammals. Mutations as low as 5 (but certainly less than 10) are sufficient to make H5N1 virus airborne.
  • A study reveals that the teens that spend more time indoors in front of screens are more likely to feel lonely and shy, while those who spend their time outdoors are much happier.
  • Study shows that the genetically modified cows produce healthier milk. This milk can be consumed by the lactose intolerant people. One more study shows that this milk contains healthy fat like that found in fishes. Chinese have produced this milk which has same properties as human breast milk.
  • A study suggests that cauterization of a peculiar population of stem-like sells in a part of cervix when infected by human papilloma virus can be a method of prevention of this deadly infection.
  • A team of scientists in Singapore have discovered a human antibody that can kill the dengue virus within two hours.
  • According to a study, to reduce the diabetes risk we should eat slowly.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Two fatal cases of Vibrio vulnificus infection investigated in Hong Kong.

Noncommunicable Disease conference – March 2012

APHA members may be interested in an upcoming conference concerning Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Children and Adolescents in Global Health.  The conference is being organized by a consortium known as NCD Child, which includes Caring and Living and Neighbors, the Public Health Institute, and the Global Health Council.  It will take place in Oakland, California during March 19-21, at the California Endowment’s conference center.  Themes to be covered include prevention, access to essential medicines, and health systems strengthening/work force development for NCDs in these vulnerable groups.  Individuals working in the field of NCDs, maternal and child health, social determinants of health, prevention as well as those advocating on behalf of these issues, are warmly welcome to apply.  A limited number of scholarships for students and individuals from outside the United States is available.

A draft program and application is here: www.ncdchild.com

This link also contains a call for abstracts, which closes on February 6.

Questions about this conference may be directed to APHA International Section member Jeff Meer of the Public Health Institute, at jmeer@phi.org.

All Kinds of Belated News (Week of September 18-24)

SECTION NEWS

The Fall 2011 Newsletter has been posted!  Be sure to check out recent announcements, section updates, links to recent blog entries, and lots of fellowship opportunities!

The Advocacy/Policy Committee would like to invite you to participate in our first Advocacy Day, led in partnership with the Global Health Council. The day, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, immediately following the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., will be an opportunity for us to voice support for a continued focus on international health to our elected officials. With the intense Congressional pressure to cut the budget, our voices can make a real difference. As a participant during this exciting day, you will be provided with training materials on effective advocacy techniques to ensure your message is clearly heard. Even if you do not have advocacy experience, you need not hesitate to sign up because you will be teamed with others. Please consider joining your fellow International Health Section members on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 on Capitol Hill to advocate for a healthy globe. Interested parties should register here. Please note that registration will close on October 14th. Any questions should be directed to Peter Freeman, Advocacy/Policy Committee Chair, at pffreeman@gmail.com or 773.318.4842.


The G+ Vaccines Challenge has been launched!  G+, a new online community launched by Gerson Lehrman Group, has partnered with IndieGoGo and StartUp Health to solicit early stage ideas for tackling problems and inefficiencies in vaccine delivery  in-the-field, distribution and development. Finalists will have the unique opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of investment, NGO and corporate and life sciences professionals with the influence to advance those ideas towards realization.  You can find more information about the challenge here.

APHA NEWS

Dr. Benjamin is currently on a teaching sabbatical at Hunter College in NYC. Alan Baker (former Chief of Staff at APHA) returned to serve as Acting Executive
Director in the interim.

UN HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON NCDs

  • The UN held its first-ever meeting on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.  Global health journalist Tom Paulson provided some great coverage of the event on the Humanosphere blog.
  • World leaders unanimously adopted the NCD Summit Outcome Document at the General Assembly in New York.
  • On the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting in New York, the United States and WHO signed a memorandum of understanding to help developing countries boost capacity to meet the International Health Regulations.
  • The cost for the developing world to address NCDs, based on the WHO’s recommendation to increase budgets by 4%, will be $11.4 billion.

POLITICS AND POLICY

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates appears poised to endorse the adoption of a controversial financial transactions tax (FTT) to be used as a new source of development aid for poor countries.

PROGRAMS

  • The multibillion dollar Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria must do a better job managing its grants to partner countries, according to an independent review panel.  A seven member panel investigating the Global Fund has recommended that it place greater emphasis on results and improve risk management.  In the Center for Global Development blog, William Savedoff is concerned that the new report suggesting changes for the Global Fund will move it away from innovating.
  • USAID has announced that it will be giving a $200 million grant to the Public Health Institute to support its global health fellows program.
  • Private and public actors have lined up to support Every Woman Every Child and its goal of preventing 33 million unwanted pregnancies.

RESEARCH

Researchers at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago announced that they were able to reduce the level of HIV in infected people through cell-based therapy.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • The privacy curtains that separate care spaces in hospitals and clinics are frequently contaminated with potentially dangerous bacteria, according to a U.S. study.
  • If today’s momentum and progress against malaria can be sustained, deaths from this infectious disease could be reduced to near-zero, and cases of infection cut by 75 per cent in the next decade, says a recent report by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership.
  • Depression may go hand in hand with a number of other physical health problems, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Now the latest evidence suggests that depression may also increase the risk of stroke.
  • Polio has spread to China for the first time since 1999 after being imported from Pakistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.

TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING: Melinda Gates is now on Twitter!

Global Health News Last Week

SECTION NEWS
The Advocacy/Policy Committee would like to invite you to participate in our first Advocacy Day, led in partnership with the Global Health Council. The day, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, immediately following the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., will be an opportunity for us to voice support for a continued focus on international health to our elected officials. With the intense Congressional pressure to cut the budget, our voices can make a real difference. As a participant during this exciting day, you will be provided with training materials on effective advocacy techniques to ensure your message is clearly heard. Even if you do not have advocacy experience, you need not hesitate to sign up because you will be teamed with others. Please consider joining your fellow International Health Section members on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 on Capitol Hill to advocate for a healthy globe.  Interested parties should register here.  Please note that registration will close on October 14th.  Any questions should be directed to Peter Freeman, Advocacy/Policy Committee Chair, at pffreeman@gmail.com or 773.318.4842.


POLITICS AND POLICY

  • GOP Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann has been slammed by scientists, doctors and others for claiming that the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine can cause mental retardation. An ethicist has now put up money behind his challenge to her claim.
  • A commitment by G20 nations to strengthen agricultural research in developing countries will help reduce food insecurity as long as it focuses on small farmers and their needs, officials and experts said at a G20-backed conference this week.

PROGRAMS

  • The Gates Foundation has presented the Harvard School of Public Health with a $12 million grant to support its maternal health task force.
  • USAID is teaming up with former President George Bush to reduce cervical cancer deaths by 25% in five years for target developing countries.
  • The magic number may be $6 billion to make a real dent in ending the spread of AIDS.
  • A collaboration between UK and US funding agencies has announced more than £3.5M new funding for research aimed at controlling the transmission of diseases amongst humans, animals and the environment.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

  • The number of African countries with national policies on traditional medicine increased almost fivefold between 2001 and 2010, according to a report on a decade of traditional medicine on the continent.
  • The recently published results from two malaria vaccine trials appear to show that scientists are getting closer to developing a vaccine against the mosquito-borne illness.
  • Effective nursing is the backbone of a high quality health care delivery system. GHDonline’s nursing community will discuss how ongoing mentoring and training programs can enhance nursing in an expert panel discussion September 19-23.
  • The number of young women with breast cancer has more than doubled worldwide since 1980, say researchers at Seattle’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
  • After 2 years of analyzing the results of the largest AIDS vaccine clinical trial ever held, the so-called Thai prime-boost trial, and the only one so far to show some protection against HIV, researchers say they have discovered insights that could lead to an effective vaccine.
  • IUDs can prevent cervical cancer, finds a study published in the Lancet.
  • Reducing the incidence of malaria could also drastically reduce the number of deaths from bacterial infections among children in Africa, a study has found.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • Authorities worry that tropical mosquitoes found in San Gabriel Valley could spread disease if they gained a foothold in Southern California.
  • A human rights investigator for the United Nations says up to a quarter of the world’s trash from hospitals, clinics, labs, blood banks and mortuaries is hazardous and much more needs to be done to regulate it.
  • A report from UNICEF and the WHO shows the decrease in the rate of deaths for children under the age of five.
  • The WHO warns that thousands may die if multi-drug resistant and forms of tuberculosis continue to spread throughoutEurope.
  • One of the scientific advisers to the new blockbuster movie “Contagion” says the “risks are very real — and are increasing drastically… Our vulnerability to such diseases has been heightened by the growth in international travel and the globalization of food production.”

FOCUS – NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

  • Cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness and diabetes account for 63 percent of all global deaths, yet up to half could be prevented, according to a new report, Noncommunicable Diseases Country Profiles 2011, released Wednesday by the  World Health Organization.
  • The WHO released a 207 page “global score card” on the prevention of chronic illness, one week ahead of the NCD summit at the UN.
  • Eli Lilly and Company has committed $30 million to the Global Health Initiative. The Lilly NCD Partnership will work to identify comprehensive, sustainable approaches to patient care. Initially it will concentrate on diabetes.

Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Tom Paulson, Isobel Hoskins, and Public Health Newswire.

Video: Unidos contra las enfermedades no transmisibles (Español)

Global Health News, Week of August 28-September 3

Global Fund round 11 is now open for proposals.

GREAT LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

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.

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • 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.

PROGRAMS

  • 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.

RESEARCH

  • 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.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • 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

SECTION NEWS

The following announcement, from Eric Williams, calls for any IH section members interested in assisting efforts to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding.  Please see the text of the announcement below.  Eric can be contacted by e-mail at ericwms@gmail.com.

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to request assistance in a “grasstops” effort to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding. As you are likely well aware, there have been serious threats and concerns regarding global health funding over the last several years. There is a real need to mobilize influential members of our community in an effort to ensure that Congress does not backtrack on our global health commitments.

I am doing some consulting work with amfar and they want to identify experts, donors, high-profile individuals and/or organizations in select states who can reach out to key Senate leadership. We need these individuals/organizations to show and voice their support for continued and sustained commitments for global health.

States of focus include Nevada (Sen. Harry Reid), Iowa (Sen. Tom Harkin), and Washington (Sen. Patty Murray). We believe these senators are in key positions to influence appropriations decisions and sure up support for global health.

The aim of this effort is to:

  1. identify grasstop individuals/organizations and
  2. plan, coordinate, and carry out outreach efforts to Senate leadership in a variety of ways, including state-level meetings, Hill visits, op-eds, sign-on letters, and so forth.

If you are interested or able to provide assistance in helping to identify and/or reach out to the above stakeholders, I would be very interested in speaking. If there is strong support for this I would be happy to facilitate a conference call to discuss in full.


August 19 was World Humanitarian Day.

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • The CDC has made updates to its flu vaccination recommendations aimed at children and people with egg allergies.
  • The United Nations has released a list of 248 organizations from 48 nations that are accredited to attend the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during September 19-20, 2011.  Meanwhile, as has been widely reported (including here and here), negotiations have stalled over an “outcomes document” that is to be approved at the meeting.
  • The World Health Organization is calling for a ban on a common blood test for TB, saying the test is unreliable.
  • Twenty-two children in Kancheepuram, Indiawho were not allowed to go to school because they are HIV positive have been ordered to return to school after a court ruled in favor of the students.
  • International funding for HIV fell by 10 percent in 2010 from the previous year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS; activists worry that a continued reduction will undermine progress in global HIV prevention and treatment efforts.

PROGRAMS

RESEARCH

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • The WHO Says Libya is facing a medical supply crisis.
  • The United Nations food agency called on Thursday for long-term aid for farmers in the Horn of Africa, saying constant crises in the region should shame the world.
  • A report by the National Institute of Malaria research in Delhi has found that climate change will enable malaria to move to new areas.
  • New research finds that radiation from the nuclear plant accident in Japanin March reached Californiawithin days, showing how quickly air pollution can travel, but scientists say the radiation will not hurt people.
  • According to an article published in Science, 19 August, cases of Chagas disease are rising outside Latin America, because large numbers of people who are already infected are migrating fromLatin America.
  • Len Rubenstein comments on the attacks on healthcare personnel inBahrain and the recent progress made to protect healthcare workers in conflict zones.

INFOGRAPHICS AND OTHER INTERESTING VISUALS

Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Larry Johnson (filling in for Tom Paulson), Isobel Hoskins, and Jeff Meer.

New Online Course on NCDs Offered by USC and the NYT Knowledge Network

A new online course, “Tackling the Global Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases – The UN General Assembly Summit,” will be offered during the third week in September.  The cost of the course is $150.  Please see the text of the notice that was sent to me below.


TACKLING THE GLOBAL RISE OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES:
THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SUMMIT
The New York Times and The University of Southern California
Present New Online Course

Much of the world faces a rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, heart and lung disease, obesity, and diabetes. For those interested in learning more about why this epidemic is taking place and the steps being taken to control it, The New York Times Knowledge Network and The University of Southern California present a new one-week online course, “Tackling the Global Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases – The UN General Assembly Summit.”
 
This course, taught by Heather Wipfli, Ph.D., and Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S., will be timed to correspond with developments that unfold at the UN General Assembly Summit on NCDs to be held in New York, September 19-26. The Summit represents the first time ever that the UN General Assembly will hold a summit involving heads of state to address the threat of NCDs to low- and middle-income countries and only the second time the General Assembly has held a special summit to address a health issue (the other for HIV in 2001, which led to the establishment of the Global Fund for HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria). The UN Summit will highlight the role of global “actors” and actions in addressing global health problems.
 
The course will cover a variety of topics relating to NCDs, including:
The factors driving the NCD epidemic, e.g. the tobacco and food industries
The burden posed by these diseases
The efforts to control the NCD epidemic
 
“Tackling the Global Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases” will run from September 16-23, 2011. To register for this new online course or for more information, please visit:
http://www.nytimesknownow.com/index.php/tackling-the-global-rise-of-non-communicable-diseases/.
 
This course is part of The USC and New York Times Knowledge Network online continuing education program (www.nytimes.com/usc), which offers students tailored, practical programs to enhance their professional paths, and the flexibility of online courses for both working and non-working adults. Courses feature USC faculty, in addition to New York Times journalists.