Tag Archives: radiation

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  • May 31 was observed as World anti-tobacco day by the World Health Organization.
  • The Fitness Industry Council Canada has announced June 1 as National Health and Fitness Day.

Politics and Policies:

  • The Republic of Congo has passed a law that prohibits the purchase, consumption and possession of tobacco for minors, pregnant women and mentally ill. The advising and any kind of promotion of tobacco are also prohibited in the country. Smoking is prohibited in public places.
  • According to the World Health Organization On June 10th Ethiopia is launching an emergency mass-vaccination campaign against yellow fever.
  • According to the Ghana’s Minister of Health, the country is committed to ban all forms of tobacco advertisements and promotions.
  • Smoking in presence of children equaled to physical violence in Latvia.
  • Russia’s smoking ban came into effect on Saturday. It involves no smoking in public places and curbing cigarette advertising and sales.

Programs:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) in Gambia is launching polio campaign to vaccinate 400,000 children under five years.
  • The Ministry of Finance of Lesotho has signed two agreements totaling $17 million with the Global Fund to fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
  • Professionals for Humanity International (PROFOH) have announced its third free medical screening in this year in Nigeria.
  • After the discovery of polio this week, United Nations emergency team rushes to vaccinate 424,000 people living in a refugee camp in Kenya.
  • Zimbabwe is going to conduct its first national tuberculosis prevalence survey with an objective to determine the national prevalence of bacteriologically-confirmed pulmonary TB among people aged 15 and over.
  • Rotary India extends its help to Pakistan in its polio vaccination drive.
  • The World Health Organization is calling on the countries to ban advertising about the tobacco products.

 Research:

  • Improvement of maternal health and reduction in child mortality in some countries was highlighted in a recently released report ‘Accountability for Maternal, newborn and Child Survival ‘.
  • According to the director of the National Institute of Combat of HIV (INLS), the prevalence of HIV in Angola has not changed since 1997.
  • According to the researchers patients who have developed oral cancer due to HPV can have sex with their spouses or long term partners.
  • According to a study done by the researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, rates of diabetes have jumped 15 fold within a decade for the Chinese Canadians.
  • A systemic review confirms that the licensed medicines for smoking cessation are successful in assisting people to quit smoking.
  • Scientists are using new optics-based single virus detecting methods for determining the exact viral load of a sample by counting individual virus sample.
  • New malaria vaccine developed by the team Japanese researchers has cut the infection rates by 72%.
  • A study conducted in over 13 hospitals in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam shows that doubling Tamiflu vaccine dose does not help in severe flu.
  • Results of a study warn development of resistance to drug used in treatment of H7N9 virus.
  • A group of scientists discover how a single gene mutation helps brain cancer cells to survive and drive tumor growth.
  • According to the United Nations scientists, Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant has very low radiation doses and there is no increased risk of cancer on local residents.
  • According to the experts nearly one-sixth of young adults in Sri Lanka are overweight. Lack of nutrition education and food culture of the country are reasons for this problem.
  • A study states that particular combination of bacteria in the human digestive system can identify patients who have or are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
  • A study shows that the Coenzyme Q10 cuts the mortality rate by half in heart failure patients.
  • Report released by EU says that several new health risks are emerging from new chemicals, products and changing lifestyle patterns. It is important to address these issues all together.
  • According to a study fizzy drinks do harm to the teeth as drugs.
  • New vaccine for lung cancer has been developed by the scientists of Argentina and Cuba. It activates the body’s immune system to promote its destruction.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • Tornadoes hit Oklahoma again on 1st June. Death toll rises to 9.
  • A report issued by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources state that the ground water of China is poisoned. It did not address the severity and scope of this problem.
  • Death toll from bird flu has risen to 38 in China.
  • According to the reports of the United Nations, there is a suspected outbreak of Ebola fever in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • According to the reports by Ghana Health Service, cholera outbreak hits greater Accra region.
  • The World Health Organization is concerned about the new strain of Coronavirus which has killed 55 of the confirmed cases.
  • A Starbucks in Hong Kong used water from the public restroom to brew coffee.
  • Pakistan is facing a severe measles epidemic. Since the start of 2013 about 239 deaths have been reported.
  • According to the Ministry of Health, Philippines, new cases of HIV infections recorded in the month of April were 388. It was 67 percent higher than those recorded in April 2012.
  • According to the reports Singapore is facing Dengue epidemic. More than 7,700 people are reported to be infected as of May 25.
  • Frozen berry and pomegranate mix has been reported to be linked to hepatitis A outbreak in five states in U.S.

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The government of United States is ready to enroll people in private health insurance plans starting this October 1.
  • Vermont state senate gives final approval those doctors will not face any criminal or civil liability when treating terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives.
  • The government of Uganda plans health insurance policy for the nation.

Programs:

  • With the aim of helping countries to make more informed health policy and program choices, World bank group has released a set of 22 case studies of countries that have significantly expanded access to health care in last decade.
  • Ghana launches television series to spark improvement in maternal health.
  • In order to improve health data collection by increasing access across the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has handed over eight SUV to the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).
  • The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) provides $ 16 million loan to back up health sector in Mauritiana.
  • UNICEF seeks nearly US$7 million for tens of thousands of flood victims in Mozambique.
  • US$87 million has been approved by the World Bank to support climatic change resiliency and improvement of health and nutrition in Mozambique.
  • Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda receives grant from Ricoh Innovations for eHealth research.
  • A two-day International Conference on Telemedicine for South –East Asian Countries has concluded with Adoption of Delhi Declaration in New Delhi.
  • Financial assistance of US$ 43,592 has been extended to the Kathmandu – based non-based government organization- the Nepal Diabetes Society.
  •  Sri Lanka gets US$200 million credit from World Bank to improve public health system.

Research:

  • According to a study, low levels of copper in brain may lead to senile beta amyloid deposition as senile plaques in brain in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • According to a study United States ranks low on health measures.
  • Scientists have discovered aromatic rice from Bangladesh that has very low arsenic content.  It is believed that its consumption will have major health benefits.
  • A study found that diabetes reduces sperm count and damages DNA in men.
  • According to the researchers work-related stress not related to cancers
  • Experts in their study state that even the young suffer from heart disease.
  • Researchers in their study have found a link between artificial sweeteners with obesity and type- 2 diabetes.
  • Study identifies regions of genes linked with Beh-ets’s disease.
  • According to a U.S. study of Israeli women in vitro fertilization  does not increase the risk of breast and gynecological cancer.
  • A study shows that Americans successfully manage diabetes.
  • A new study states that reducing salt in Americans diet would reduce death from stroke and heart attack.
  • A study in Norway states that folic acid supplements early in pregnancy may reduce risk of autism by 40%.
  • A study shows that people who eat chocolate frequently have a lower body mass index (BMI) that those who consume it less regulatory.
  • Study finds clues to why most babies in China survived tainted milk scandal.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • According to the Disease Control and Surveillance Unit of the Nkoranza South Municipal Health Directorate (Ghana), preventable communicable diseases have hit Nkoranza south municipality.
  • Acute drug shortage is being faced by the public schools of Malawi.
  • Cholera crisis confirmed in northern Mozambique after heavy rains and flooding.
  • Thousands of people are affected and hundreds killed in Hepatitis E outbreak in South Sudan refugee camps.
  • China checks levels of radiation in areas bordering North Korea. So far no signs of radiation in the region.
  • Number of people being affected with H1N1 virus is increasing in New Delhi, India.

 

 

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

  • The Department of Health and Human Services bolsters health care and public health disaster. It has awarded more than $971 million to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a wide range of public health threats within every state, eight U.S. territories, and four of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.
  • India is completing a proposal to provide essential drugs free to patients in government-run hospitals and clinics at a cost of $5 billion over five years.
  • Rapid H.I.V. Home test wins federal approval.
  • Republican governor of Florida says state won’t expand Medicaid.

Programs

  • George W. Bush launches cancer project in Botswana. This $3 million initiative has been started to fight against cervical cancer. This project is funded by the Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and is supported by the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership.
  • A drug created at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has been deployed to fight malaria in India.
  • U.S. $124,276,000 assistance package is expected for Liberia. A new development agenda “An agenda for transformation” will focus on critical areas like education, economy, health etc.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is providing support to the treatment center in village of Wabaria, situated in Northern Mali after identification of the new cases of cholera in the village
  • La Madre de los Pobres charity reaches needy in nearly 20-plus countries.
  • New child health card and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is introduced in Zimbabwe to ensure good records of all preventive interventions like exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, calendar of immunizations and prevention of mother to child transmission.
  • International donors offer Afghanistan $16B.
  • Traditional Indian sweetener jaggery (gur) will be launched as complete health food for all age groups soon in India.

Research

  • New study maps hotspots of human-animal infectious diseases and emerging disease outbreaks like tuberculosis and Rift Valley fever.
  • Single dose radiation at the time of surgery helps women with early stage breast cancer forego 6-7 week radiation regimen.
  • Australian researchers from the Skin and Cancer Foundation have found a link between psoriasis and other diseases.
  • Research from Fourth Military Medical University yields new findings on Parkinson’s disease.
  • Researchers at the University of Minnesota School Of Public Health have found new evidence that fast food intake increases risk of diabetes and heart disease in people.
  • Zebra fish provides insights into causes and treatment of human diseases. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh are using it to study the biological mechanisms underlying human disorders and identifying potential treatment approaches for an impressive array of organ and systematic diseases.
  • Caffeine may help to lower the risk of skin cancer. The results of the study conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston suggest that it is the caffeine in coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma associated with increasing coffee consumption.
  • Amniotic fluid yields alternatives to embryonic stem cells. The scientists from Imperial College London and the UCL Institute of Child Health have succeeded in reprogramming amniotic fluid cells without having to introduce extra genes.
  • Organic tomatoes contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventional tomatoes. The researchers have shown that these tomatoes do not use not use nitrogenous fertilizers and thus they activate their own defense mechanisms resulting in increased production of all antioxidants.
  • A study conducted by a researcher at the University of Maryland has shown that the women infected with Toxoplasma gondii parasite which is spread through contact with cat feces or eating undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables, are at increased risk of attempting suicide.
  • A recent research has shown that deleting single gene results in autism-like behavior and immunosuppressant drug prevents autism symptoms. This gene is associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic condition.
  • Using a mouse model of autism, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have successfully treated an autism spectrum disorder characterized by severe cognitive impairment.
  • A team of researchers at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen are closer to understanding the biology behind GHB, a transmitter substance in the brain, best known in its synthetic form as the illegal drug fantasy.

Diseases and Disasters

  • Monsoon rains cause havoc in Bangladesh.
  • The Philippines Department of Health has instructed the Bureau of Quarantine to be on alert, following an outbreak of a fatal respiratory disease in Cambodia.
  • According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, South Sudan faces worst health crisis.
  • According to a recent report released, Fukushima disaster was man-made.

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

  • Health officials from 194 countries endorsed a immunization strategy – the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) – at the 65th World Health Assembly- to prevent millions of deaths by 2020.
  • The New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill that provides legal protection for people who summon medical help when they witness a drug overdose.

Programs

  • The United States government has urged baby boomers (any one born between the year 1945 to the year 1965) to get tested for the Hepatitis C virus. It is estimated that they are at a greater risk of contracting this virus through drug use or receiving blood transfusion before widespread screening for virus became available in 1992.
  • Rwanda introduces new vaccine for Rotavirus disease. This virus accounts for 8.8% of all under five deaths in this country. This vaccine has been incorporated in the country’s routine immunization program.
  • The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to implement policies to improve Africa’s health. It is working with Tanzania, Senegal and Mozambique as well as sub-regional blocs to improve their health systems.
  • The United Nations (UN) has mobilized 7 million U.S. dollars to support the response plan of the Senegalese government in its fight against food shortage.
  • California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) awards $69M in stem cell research grants targeting ‘bubble boy’ syndrome, other diseases.

Research

  • A study says that individual health policies are failing to meet the standards of coverage set by federal health care law.
  • A study has found that the over the counter drugs can help to reduce the risk of heart attack. The researchers found that the combination of selenium yeast and the vitamin- like compound coenzyme Q10 significantly reduced the risk of heart attacks in elderly.
  • According to a study conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) about 39 percent of 12 major cancers can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
  • RNA breakthrough transforms the idea of gene control. The researchers have discovered that messenger RNA, the mirror image copy of DNA from which all proteins is manufactured, can be methylated also.
  • The researchers at the Duke University Medical Center looked into certain immune cells in the breast milk of HIV-infected mothers in the African nation of Malawi and found that the B-cells generate antibodies that can neutralize the HIV virus. They say though the transmission of HIV from the infected mothers can occur through the infected breast milk but only happen to one in ten nursing mothers infected by HIV.
  • Researchers at the Institute of the Cancer Research (ICR) and the universities of Oxford and Edinburgh have discovered that a fault on one of the sex chromosomes is involved in the development of bowel cancer in men more than women. They have identified a faulty region on the X- chromosome that is linked to lower levels of a gene called SHROOM2.  They say that the men have only one copy of X chromosome, so they do not have a normal copy of the gene.
  • The researchers of Genomic Institute of Singapore (GIS) have unraveled the mechanism that causes liver cancer – hepatocellular carcinoma/ HCC.
  • A study shows that the people who eat faster are at 2.5 times the risk of having type – 2 diabetes.
  • In a study it was seen that the lung functions improved in the emphysema patients with metal wire implanted in it. This wire called lung reduction coil (LVRC) is designated to gather and compress diseased lung tissue, may offer relief to patients.
  • A research done by Danish scientists say that breast tumor risk increased at 40% rate among the night workers. Though the risk is not yet established, the study is expected to be completed by 2015.
  • Men who have psychiatric problems are more likely to die after the diagnosis of cancer according to the researchers at University College London. The study suggests that the men with mental illness face diagnostic delays that may affect their chances of surviving cancer.
  • Researchers have created glasses that indicate obstacles to patients with visual handicaps. This system could be of great use to people with visual loss in the central field of vision- those who suffer from age-related macular degeneration.
  • According to a UK study, cannabis fails to slow progress of multiple sclerosis.  Multiple sclerosis patients were assessed in the trial known as CUPID (cannabinoid use in progressive inflammatory brain disease) on both a disability scale administered by neurologists and another based on their own reporting.
  • According to a study, Latinos are less likely to take skin cancer precautions.  It says that a lack of health insurance and poorer access to healthcare contribute to not getting the checkups.

Diseases and Disasters

  • The leak at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan last week released cesium isotopes in to the Pacific, which the scientists believe might be tucked into tuna fish. They believe tuna might be carrying Fukushima radiation to California.
  • Gardeners have been warned to wash their hands using compost as rare strain of Legionnaire’s disease infects six people in Scotland.
  • Superbug spread to 40 countries and creates problem for medical tourism in India. These bugs are multiplying successfully because of a gene dubbed NDM-1. This gene is carried on mobile loops of DNA called plasmids that transfer easily among and across many types of bacteria. NDM-1 is changing common bugs that drugs easily defeated into untreatable killers.
  • May 27- June 2 declared Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week.

 

 

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies

Programs

Research

Diseases and Disasters

 

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.

Global Health News Last Week

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • South Africa’s government has set out its plans to introduce a universal health care scheme with a pilot program in 10 areas by 2012 and nationally over the next 14 years.
  • The U.N. must make reducing salt intake a global health priority, sayUK scientists. Writing in the British Medical Journal they say a 15% cut in consumption could save 8.5 million lives around the world over the next decade.
  • IRIN reports on the story of Daniel Ng’etich, a Kenyan man who was arrested and jailed for not continuing his TB treatment.
  • Dr. Jill Biden is leading a high level American delegation toKenya, which includes Raj Shah, to look into the American response to the famine crisis in the Horn of Africa.
  • A report on the state of maternal health in South Africa by Human Rights Watch has uncovered some alarming trends.

PROGRAMS

  • WHO has launched a new website to help those combating malnutrition. eLENA, a new e-library, gathers together evidence-informed guidelines for an expanding list of nutrition interventions. It is a single point of reference for the latest nutrition guidelines, recommendations and related information.

RESEARCH

  • A TB vaccine designed for those with HIV enters phase IIb trials this week in Senegal. The vaccine works by boosting response of T cells already stimulated by the traditional BCG vaccine.
  • Female smokers are more at risk for heart disease than male smokers, finds a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Lancet.  This is a concern, as smoking rates are increasing in young women worldwide.
  • Scientists are in the second phase of research into using microwaves to kill malaria parasites in mice.
  • A USC researcher has developed a lentiviral vector that can track down HIV infected cells which can potentially act as a marker for targeted elimination of infected cells.
  • People living with HIV who receive the proper ARV treatment have no greater risk of death compared to people without HIV, finds Danish researchers.
  • Around 30 genetic risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis have been discovered by a UK-led team.
  • A new study, showing that a simple blood test can accurately determine the sex of a fetus 95 percent of the time, is great news for parents at high risk of having a baby with rare genetic diseases. But it is bad news to those concerned that the tests could be used to abort a fetus based on gender.
  • British researchers have discovered that the introduction of spermless male mosquitoes can lead to fewer malaria carrying females.
  • A device which can test blood for HIV/AIDS in a matter of minutes has been developed by University of Columbia scientists.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • As if it did not have enough problems already, Somalia is now facing cholera epidemic, World Health Organization officials said.
  • In an August 4 article, Trustlaw’s Lisa Anderson exposes the “silent health emergency” faced by child brides around the globe.  Not yet physically mature, they face grave danger in childbirth, due to narrow pelvises. Girls younger than 15 years of age have a five times greater risk of dying during delivery than women over 20; most of these deaths occur in developing countries that lack adequate and accessible pre- and postnatal care.
  • Amid contradictory government statistics, a volunteer group in Japan has recorded 500,000 radiation points across the country.
  • A Mexican teenager is the first officially known person to die from vampire bat induced human rabies infection. The 19-year-old victim was a migrant farm worker in theUnited States.
  • An estimated 500,000 people in West Africaare infected with lassa fever every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, amid calls for more money to be spent on preventing its spread.
  • Over at Global Pulse, Human Rights Watch researcher Katherine Todrys guest blogs on the HIV epidemic in Uganda’s penitentiaries.Uganda, she explains, has often been presented as a success story in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, and has received over $1 billion from the US for AIDS programs. Many HIV-positive Ugandans have been excluded from these efforts, though, including gay men, drug users, sex workers, and prisoners.
  • Sleep apnea, a fairly common and treatable disorder that causes people to stop breathing momentarily while they sleep, may lead to cognitive impairment and even dementia.
  • Although cases of sexual violence have been under-counted during some wars, during others, such as the ongoing unrest in Libya, they have been vastly over-counted.
  • All patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do two and a half hours of physical exercise every week, says a report by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Global Health News Last Week

From March 28 to April 1, panelists working in Canada, Uganda, the United States, and Zambia will lead a discussion in GHDonline.org on ways to build sustainable partnerships to strengthen surgical and anesthesia capacity in resource-poor settings. More information can be found here.

March 22 was World Water Day. Blogger Tom Murphy has collected some interesting videos on PSI’s blog here.
Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood icon and longtime advocate for the fight against HIV/AIDS, passed away on March 23 at age 78.
March 24 was World TB Day.

POLICY

  • China, the world’s largest tobacco producer and home to a third of all smokers, has issued a national ban on smoking in hotels, restaurants and other indoor public spaces.
  • Fears are growing among HIV/AIDS sufferers in the Ukraine amid claims from some patients that they have been denied life-saving medicines by authorities during a crackdown on drug substitution therapy.
  • The WHO has announced a list of 30 essential medicines for treating common diseases of mothers and children that can be used as the basis for procurement and supply of medicines and guide local medicine production.

RESEARCH

  • Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Dublin City University and Universidad de Valparaiso (Chile) have developed a self-powered, low-cost chip that can test blood samples and diagnose diseases like tuberculosis and HIV within minutes.
  • Researchers have discovered that capsaicin, the compound that makes jalapeños, red chilies, and the famous habanero pepper spicy, inhibit the production of cholera toxins.
  • Results from a recent study show that people with HIV who change antiretroviral treatment regimens due to side effects are at higher risk for developing drug resistance.
  • The Pakistan Medical Association’s 2011 annual report found that 400,000 infants die in the first year of their life each year and 1 out of 10 children die by the age of five.
  • A study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that child diarrhea deaths could be almost halved if currently available interventions such as breastfeeding, hand washing with soap, and improved household water treatment were widely implemented.
  • Global health and development blogger Amanda Makulec shares seven key ideas that she took home from the Global Health Metrics and Evaluation Conference in Seattle.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • Despite setbacks, work continues at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, in addition to radiation-contaminated vegetables, officials are now warning families to not give Tokyo tap water to infants due to elevated levels of radiation found in the water supply. The World Bank estimates that the earthquake and tsunami have caused as much as $235 billion in damage to Japan and that it will take five years for the nation to recover.
  • The crisis in Côte d’Ivoire continues as well, as the country’s healthcare system is strained by the violence.
  • Leprosy, which has been officially “eliminated” in India, still affects hundreds of thousands of people who are shunned by society. There are 130,000 new cases diagnosed in the country each year.
  • Leaders at the 26th Annual Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International challenged the World Health Organization and countries around the world to take action on the dramatic surge in the global incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Global Health News Last Week

POLICY

  • Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced the Water for the World Act of 2011, a bill in the Senate which will make providing safe and clean drinking water around the world a priority for US foreign aid.
  • More than 60 world nutrition experts met at WHO headquarters last week to revise guidelines and to identify solutions to tackle the growing problems of both malnutrition and obesity around the world.
  • Ministers of health and other high-level health officials from throughout the Americas called for a series of actions to reduce the toll of chronic noncommunicable diseases, in a declaration issued last week in Mexico City.
  • The Global Fund announced that former President of Botswana Festus Mogae and former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt have agreed to lead a high-level panel of experts that will conduct an independent and thorough review of the Global Fund’s financial safeguards.
  • UN agencies are concerned that reduced donor funding due to the recession, combined with free trade agreements, will reduce the availability of low-cost HIV medications in developing countries.
  • The United Nations General Assembly will convene a high-level meeting in September this year to discuss the financial burden caused by non-communicable diseases (NCD) on countries.

RESEARCH

  • A study done is Malawi by the World Bank attracted attention (and criticism) from Businessweek. Young women were given to stay in school and deter them from accepting money and gifts from “sugar daddies” in exchange for sex. The study found that HIV infection rates were 60% among schoolgirls who received cash compared to those who received nothing.
  • A recent review of malaria treatment clinical trial results, published in the Chochrane Library, shows that artesunate was more effective that quinine at treating severe malaria.
  • A personalized text messaging reminder service significantly boosted antiretroviral (ARV) adherence over a six-week period compared with a standard beeper reminder system, according to a study published in the March issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
  • About 600 people gathered at the Global Health Metrics and Evaluation conference in Seattle to discuss issues surrounding the evaluation of effectiveness of health programs.

PROGRAMS

  • Global health blogger Alanna Shaikh discusses how micro-credit and the Green Revolution, two of international development’s biggest successes, are being re-evaluated.
  • The Nepalese government is planning launch a large vaccination campaign against elephantiasis in 40 high-risk districts.
  • Dubai’s Ministry of Health introduced Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine PCV13, a vaccine that protects young children from the worst effects of illnesses including pneumonia, blood infections and meningitis.
  • The National Influenza Center of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, making China the first developing country to house such an institution.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • Europe is concerned by the growing incidence of drug-resistant TB, particularly in children.
  • The world continues to follow the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, including the unfolding situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The WHO has assured that there is no danger to individuals being exposed to radiation in nearby nations (e.g. China).
  • As if Haiti needed any more bad news, a study published in the Lancet says that the UN estimate of 400,000 cholera cases in Haiti this year is nearly half of what the real projection should be for the recovering nation. Meanwhile, health officials in Lagos have called on residents to observe high standards of personal and environmental hygiene and have designated emergency numbers to call in case of suspected cases; the Ghana Health Service has set up cholera centers in Accra to deal with the outbreak there; and the interim federal government of Somalia on Tuesday denied reports of an outbreak of cholera in the country, responding to an Associated Press story over the weekend that Somali doctors had reported that more than 20 people had died from the disease.
  • In the February 2011 issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease Journal, contributing editor Serap Aksoy discussed the triumphs behind the control of human African trypanosomiasis, or African Sleeping Sickness.
  • Although women get diagnosed for tuberculosis (TB) later than men, treatment outcomes among women are better than men with higher TB treatment success rate and lower default (drop-out) rate in the female patients. The finding was announced at a meeting on TB and women in New Delhi, India.
  • While the total number of newly reported HIV positive people and AIDS patients are still low in Japan compared with other countries, the number of newly HIV-infected people in Japan has doubled in the past decade due to public complacency and lower awareness.