| | |

Latest Newsletter

"World Health Minute" 31 July, 2017

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Yemen cholera epidemic slowing after infecting 400,000

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Yemen`s cholera outbreak was set to hit 400,000 cases but there are signs the three-month-old epidemic is slowing, according to World Health Organization data. A dramatic fall over the past month in the number of people dying from the disease each day -- from about 30 to single figures -- suggests the WHO`s strategy of setting up a network of rehydration points to catch patients early is working

July 25, 2017
Reuters

Unprecedented Dengue Outbreak Kills Nearly 300 in Sri Lanka

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The worst-ever outbreak of dengue fever in Sri Lanka has killed nearly 300 people, with the number of cases rising rapidly. Sri Lanka`s Ministry of Health reports that the number of dengue infections has climbed above 103,000 since the start of 2017, with 296 deaths. The number of cases this year is already nearly double the number of dengue infections recorded in all of 2016

July 24, 2017
Voice of America

Cholera still on the rise in Darfur, resurging in eastern Sudan

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Five people died of cholera in Kabkabiya in North Darfur on Monday and Tuesday, while the total number of cases in the isolation centre on Wednesday rose to 33. An activist in Radio Dabanga`s voluntary work reported the deaths of five cases, one of which died at Kabkabiya hospital. Three more died at the El Matar camp in Kabkabiya on Tuesday, while one died on Monday evening at the peace camp

July 27, 2017
Radio Dabanga

WHO sees high risk from Kenya cholera outbreak

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Since the beginning of the year, Kenya has experienced cholera outbreaks with an ongoing epidemic in Garissa and Nairobi counties. Some 1,216 cases, including 14 deaths, have been reported this year. Saying hotel closures were not punitive, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu however warned that there is no room for anyone to defy the directives. “It is for the wellbeing of the public,” Dr Mailu said

July 21, 2017
Trust.org

Swine Flu: 600 Deaths, Nearly 12,500 Cases So Far This Year, Says Government

Preparedness, surveillance and response

As many as 600 people have died of swine flu in India so far this year, a more than two-fold rise in such deaths compared to last, the government said. Maharashtra alone accounted for almost 50 per cent of all deaths, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said. Gujarat recorded 75 deaths out of 289 infections, while in Kerala 63 out of 1,127 people succumbed to H1N1 complications

July 24, 2017
NDTV

Myanmar tracks spread of H1N1 as outbreak claims sixth victim

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Six people have died in an outbreak of H1N1 influenza largely hitting Myanmar`s biggest city, Yangon, a health official, amid government efforts to track the spread of the virus. Most cases have been found in Yangon, but 10 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus earlier this month in Matupi, in the remote north-western state of Chin

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Myanmar confirms two more cases of H1N1, H3N2 influenza

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Myanmar health officials confirmed two new cases of influenza infections – H1N1 and H3N2 – as the country struggles to contain the new outbreak of the deadly virus that already claimed three lives. The Ministry of Health and Sports said that 20 patients were confirmed with Seasonal Influenza H1N1/A in Myanmar as of Wednesday and are now being treated in hospitals

July 27, 2017
Myanmar Times

Myanmar Asks WHO to Help Fight H1N1 Virus

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Myanmar’s government requested help from the World Health Organization after the H1N1 influenza killed six out of 20 confirmed cases in the country, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports. The ministry sent an official report to the WHO, outlining its needs to help control the virus, said deputy director general of the Public Health Department Dr. Than Tun Aung. “We asked WHO to provide medication as well as vaccines and funds for medical services if possible. We also asked for diagnostic tools and preventative things. They will give us these, and they won’t neglect us,” he told The Irrawaddy

July 27, 2017
Irrawaddy Times

Two cases of Hantavirus have been confirmed in the province of Salta

Preparedness, surveillance and response

In Argentina, in the town of Oran, local health authorities said that two cases of hantavirus have been confirmed after tests, measures are being taken to control the cases and any future risk of disease

July 29, 2017
La Capital.com.ar

Bolivia reports fifth yellow fever case

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Health officials in Bolivia reported the fifth yellow fever case in Cochabamba. ‘We are taking actions reinforcing our vaccination campaigns to people who were not vaccinated because the teams are moving in that area (Caranavi) and we are investigating the presence of the vector’ health authorities reported

July 25, 2017
Outbreak News Today

Unpaid doctors and nurses fight largest cholera epidemic on record

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Nurses and doctors have been working overtime in public hospitals — without pay — to keep pace with the cholera epidemic in Yemen, which has now infected an estimated 400,000 people across the country. On July 25, the World Health Organization said cholera`s spread is slowing in Yemen and may have reached its peak. But hundreds of thousands more Yemenis will likely be infected before the epidemic is over. The strain on medical staff in public hospitals will continue. Like tens of thousands of other Yemeni government employees, doctors and nurses have not seen a monthly pay check since September 2016

July 28, 2017
Public Radio International (PRI.org)

UN delegation visits Yemen amid cholera outbreak

Preparedness, surveillance and response

A high-level United Nations delegation arrived in Yemen to visit areas held both by the government and the Houthi rebels across the crisis-hit country. The executive directors of the World Health Organisation, the UN Children`s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme visited the southern province of Aden, where the government is based, and the rebel-held capital Sanaa. UNICEF and WHO representatives declined to elaborate on the visit to the Arabian Peninsula country, where war, cholera and looming famine have killed thousands of people and displaced millions

July 24, 2017
AlJazeera

Should Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Always Include Finishing a Prescribed Medication?

Preparedness, surveillance and response

A group of UK experts has taken a controversial stance on how to control superbugs, urging physicians and public health experts to change their tune. In a commentary published in the British Medical Journal, they wrote, “The ‘complete the course’ message has persisted despite not being supported by evidence and previous arguments that it should be replaced. ... Nevertheless, there is evidence that, in many situations, stopping antibiotics sooner is a safe and effective way to reduce antibiotic overuse”

July 26, 2017
Scientific American

Tuberculosis surveillance to cover 70 vulnerable areas in Mumbai from August 1

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Around 35,000-40,000 people are diagnosed with TB every year in Mumbai but health workers said certain patients could be missing treatment and spreading the disease. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has identified 70 areas that are vulnerable to tuberculosis and created a team of 374 health officers for ‘door-to-door’ surveys to identify patients

July 28, 2017
Hindustan Times

Bird flu breaks out in Myanmar southern region

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Bird flu has recently broken out in Dawei, Myanmar’s southern Tanintharyi coastal region, China’s Xinhua news agency reported. According to an announcement of the Ministry of Health and Sports, more than 1,800 chickens were culled to prevent spread of the virus

July 26, 2017
New Straits Times

Health Ministry warns of bird flu

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The Ministry of Health in Cambodia warned people to be aware of the new avian influenza strain H7N9, which has spread to poultry in China and neighbouring countries. Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann said that in the past two years, Cambodia has not had any cases of avian influenza H5N1 infecting people, despite it spreading to poultry in Svay Rieng province early this year. However, he said officials are concerned about the new avian flu H7N9, which has been spreading in China, Vietnam and Laos

July 25, 2017
Khmer Times

Cholera kills one Yemeni every hour in a war the world ignores

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The UN calls Yemen the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world, saying 7m people are now a step away from famine. There is not much reporting of this urgent story because Saudi Arabia makes it extremely difficult for journalists to enter the country. Riyadh controls the airspace, determining who comes and goes in Yemen. A senior UN official said the Saudis were blocking journalists to make sure only their version of the story emerged. “They don’t want it said that they are inflicting suffering on their fellow Arabs,” he said

July 30, 2017
The Times

Somalia: Cholera cases rise by 1000

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The Ministry of Health of Somalia has reported 1068 acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera cases and 3 deaths for week 28 (10 – 16 July 2017) with a case-fatality rate of 0.3%. The overall case-fatality rate of 1.4% remains above the emergency threshold of 1%. However, the cholera outbreak which started in January 2017 is slowing down, thanks to timely interventions by WHO, national health authorities and health partners

July 29, 2017
Outbreak News Today

Ohio reports 11 human H3N2v influenza cases last week

Preparedness, surveillance and response

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FluView, eleven human infections with novel influenza A viruses were detected in Ohio during the week of July 16. All 11 persons were infected with influenza A (H3N2) variant (H3N2v) viruses and reported exposure to swine in a fair setting during the week preceding illness onset. Ten of the 11 patients were children less than 18 years of age and one patient was an adult aged 50-64 years. None were hospitalized and all have fully recovered from their illness

July 28, 2017
Outbreak News Today

Mysterious disease outbreak in Manipur: 41 hospitalized

Preparedness, surveillance and response

After the flood, Manipur has been struck with the spread of vector-borne and other diseases particularly in Imphal Valley and Churachandpur district, a state Health department official said. There were reports of an outbreak of an unknown disease in the interior parts of Churachandpur district, particularly Henglep village, where around 41 people had fallen ill, most of them children. The state Health department has been hectically engaging in combating outbreak of diseases like Swine Flu, Dengue, Japanese Encephalitis and Scrub Typhus following the flood in Manipur

July 30, 2017
Nagaland Post

Health systems

Trump Budget Cuts Could Drastically Affect SA`s Fight Against HIV And Aids

Health systems

South Africa is holding its breath while the US Congress decides whether to approve President Donald Trump`s proposed budget cuts to global health programmes -- cuts that, if approved, could significantly reduce support for HIV and Aids in South Africa. While South Africa reportedly funds most of its HIV and Aids programmes itself, donor funding accounts for 18.5% of the HIV and Aids funds available for the 2017/2018 fiscal year

July 26, 2017
Huffington Post

We can cure hepatitis C. But we’re now making the same mistake we did with AIDS

Health systems

The World Health Organization now reports that 4 out of 5 people infected with hepatitis C aren’t even aware of it. Of those who do know, fewer than 1 in 50 have received treatment. These numbers are far worse in parts of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the global extreme poor live. In many places, such as Rwanda, infected patients remain on waiting lists for treatment, without which many succumb early to liver failure, cancer and other related complications. This is a failure not of science but of delivery

July 29, 2017
Washington Post

Just 150 more cases of measles could cost the US $2.1 million

Health systems

Researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and estimated what could happen if vaccination rates keep dropping. Right now, 93 percent of kids ages two to 11 in the US are vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella. If that number dropped by 5 percent, it would lead to 150 more cases of measles. This might not sound like a lot, but it is actually a three-fold increase compared to the number of cases that exist now, and it could cost over $2 million from local and state public health institutions

July 24, 2017
The Verge

Italy set for compulsory measles vaccinations

Health systems

Italian lawmakers are expected to give their final nod to a mass compulsory vaccination program for children under the age of 17. It`s part of a government response to a measles outbreak that has claimed three lives since the start of the year. The new law makes it compulsory to vaccinate minors against 10 diseases, including measles, rubella, whooping cough, Hib, mumps and chickenpox

July 28, 2017
skynews.com.au

WHO Report Identifies Priority Areas for HIV Pharmacy Research

Health systems

HIV drug resistance poses a global threat, and research into new medicines, particularly those that are tailored to adolescents and children, are needed, according to a report released by the World Health Organization and the International AIDS Society (IAS)

July 25, 2017
Pharmacy Times

Hepatitis drugs more affordable but disease still deadly: WHO

Health systems

Prices of drugs to cure hepatitis C and to treat hepatitis B are dropping dramatically, offering affordability and hope to 325 million people living with the viral liver disease that can be fatal, the World Health Organisation said. A generic antiviral drug for hepatitis C, which can be cured in three months, was placed this week on WHO`s list of pre-qualified medicines. That means it can be used safely by aid agencies and countries for bulk purchasing

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Contraband drugs flood Cameroon markets despite the government fight against them

Health systems

The health sector in Cameroon is faced with large amounts of contraband drugs in markets, hospitals, streets and pharmacies. Despite government best efforts to check the importation and sale of illicit drugs, contraband drugs remain a major scourge. Many inhabitants turn towards ‘their local chemist’ who sell drugs on the street rather than going to hospital as the hospital often proves to be costly

July 29, 2017
Cameroon Concord

As drug prices drop, generics makers fight back with deals

Health systems

Generic drug makers are turning to M&A to shield themselves against a concerted effort by U.S. regulators to crack down on steep drug prices. One example is Impax, Perrigo and Alvogen who have all been talking to advisers about strategic options for their generics businesses, ranging from acquisitions to increase scale to an outright sale of the units

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Romania to pass vaccination law to deal with immunization gaps

Health systems

Romania needs to pass a vaccination law and overhaul medical services to prevent the spread of a measles outbreak that has already claimed 32 deaths, the most of any European country, the health ministry said. Vaccination rules are being tightened across Europe, where a decline in immunization has caused a spike in diseases such as measles, chicken pox and mumps. In Romania, the ministry said 224,202 children aged 9 months to 9 years had yet to be vaccinated against measles

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Communicable diseases

`Mosaic` HIV vaccine from J&J and partners passes early test

Communicable diseases

J&J touted the phase 1/2a study results early Monday, announcing that an investigational shot appeared to be well-tolerated and elicited HIV-1 antibody responses in all participants. The study tested a “mosaic” HIV vaccine in nearly 400 patients across the U.S, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and Thailand. Lead investigator Dan Barouch said the vaccine is designed using computer sequencing to protect against HIV subtypes all over the world. Other HIV vaccine programs have aimed at protecting against the virus in different global regions, he said, limiting how they would be deployed

July 24, 2017
Fierce Pharma

New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

Communicable diseases

For decades, vaccine manufacturers have used chicken eggs to grow the flu virus strains included in the seasonal vaccine. But because these human strains frequently mutate to adapt to their new environment, the resulting vaccine is often an imperfect match to the virus that it is supposed to protect against. Researchers have now devised a way to keep the human influenza virus from mutating during egg-based production, generating a perfect match to the target vaccine

July 24, 2017
Science Daily

Swaziland Cuts HIV Infection Rate in Half

Communicable diseases

The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is "coming under control" in Swaziland, the country with the world`s highest prevalence of the virus. The U.S. President`s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011, and the latest research shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults

July 24, 2017
VOA News

10 die of TB every day in Delhi, finds NGO

Communicable diseases

At least 10 people die every day in Delhi of tuberculosis, a curable disease, exposing a huge healthcare deficit in the national capital. Nearly 47% of the deaths are of people in the productive age group of 15 to 44 years. This data, an average of TB deaths in 2014 and 2015, was accessed by NGO Praja Foundation through RTI applications in all municipal and state government-run hospitals. "The actual number of deaths due to TB in Delhi could be much higher. Our data is based on deaths reported by hospitals which constitute only about 60% of all deaths,” the NGO said

July 27, 2017
Times Of India

Ghana’s infant malaria prevalence rate down to 21 percent

Communicable diseases

Ghana has recorded significant improvement in reducing malaria prevalence among infants between six months and 59 months, according to the Ghana Malaria Indicator Survey. The survey observed that malaria prevalence rate among the infants surveyed decreased significantly by six percentage points to 21 percent in 2016, from the 27 percent prevalence rate in 2014. Acting Government Statistician Baah Wadieh said a lot more needed to be done to sustain the downward slope in the malaria infection rates

July 28, 2017
News Ghana

Expecting mothers with hepatitis C have 90% chance of infecting their babies

Communicable diseases

Worryingly, there has been an eight per cent rise in the number of HCV cases among pregnant women in the last decade. Experts say that babies born with HCV often have a mild liver disease and around 80 per cent have very low to no liver scarring in the first 18 years. However, the actual nature of the disease becomes apparent once the child reaches adulthood as HCV usually takes more than a decade to cause liver problems — but whenever it happens, it is disastrous

July 28, 2017
India.com

Hopes for HIV cure revived by African child in remission

Communicable diseases

A South African child born with HIV has surprised experts by appearing to be effectively cured of the AIDS virus after just a year of treatment followed by eight and a half years drug-free. This and other recent, isolated cases of remission have given additional hope to the 37 million people worldwide infected with the virus that causes AIDS. Yet experts urged caution, saying the case is extremely rare and does not suggest a simple path to a cure. It`s a case that raises more questions than it necessarily answers," said Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the International AIDS Society

July 24, 2017
Reuters

Philippines trials anti-HIV drug as cases hit record high

Communicable diseases

A total of 1,098 new HIV cases were recorded in May - the highest monthly figure since the country`s first reported case in 1984.The Philippines has kicked off a pilot project offering anti-HIV drugs to gays and transgender women as new infection rates in the country buck global trends and hit a record high. Under the project, 200 HIV-negative gay men and transgender women will be given a daily pill known as PrEP that is designed to protect the body pre-exposure, rather than after HIV spreads

July 26, 2017
Trust.org

Diphtheria cases in Mysuru shows resurgence of vaccine-preventable disease

Communicable diseases

Even as the State Health Department is struggling to deal with the rapid increase in the number of dengue cases, it now has another challenge. Diphtheria, a vaccine-preventable disease, has again surfaced in the State with three confirmed cases being reported from a residential school in Mysuru this week. Fifteen other children, from Mahaboodhi Residential School at Mysuru, suspected to have contracted the disease, are also under treatment

July 30, 2017
The Hindu

HIV fight advances with new drug cocktails, fresh vaccine hopes

Communicable diseases

Three decades after approval of the first-ever AIDS treatment, HIV medicine is seeing a new wave of innovation with scientists reporting positive data for improved drug cocktails and a novel experimental vaccine. Adding to optimism is the success of anti-retrovirals in preventing infection as well as growing hopes for an eventual "functional" cure that may keep the virus at bay without drugs. Researchers believe such advances are necessary to stay ahead of a virus that can all too often develop resistance to medicines, despite the use since 1996 of three- or four-drug combinations that mean HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence

July 24, 2017
Reuters

Vaccine lessens severity of whooping cough infections

Communicable diseases

Even though vaccinations don’t always prevent whooping cough, people have milder symptoms of the respiratory illness and lower odds of serious complications with the vaccine than without it, a U.S. study suggests. More than three in four cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, occurred in people who were up to date on their vaccinations, the analysis of multistate disease surveillance data found. Babies and young children had 60 percent lower odds of severe infections, however, when they had received all recommended childhood pertussis vaccinations

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Chennai lab to start production of anti-tuberculosis vaccine by November

Communicable diseases

BCG Vaccine Laboratory will start production of anti-tuberculosis vaccine for children by November 2017, Union health minister J P Nadda said. The lab will help the Centre cut costs on vaccines by nearly half, health ministry officials say. Presently, the central government purchases BCG vaccines from private pharmaceutical companies for the universal vaccination programme

July 28, 2017
Times of India

Non communicable diseases

Report: Scientists edit human embryos for first time in US

Non communicable diseases

America reportedly has moved ahead in a controversial race to tinker with human DNA -- but the scientific feat is shrouded in unanswered questions. The MIT Technology Review published a news report about the first-known experiment to create genetically modified human embryos in the United States using a gene-editing tool called CRISPR. "Results of the peer-reviewed study are expected to be published soon in a scientific journal. No further information will be provided before then," according to a statement from the university`s press office

July 28, 2017
CNN

FDA plans to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels

Non communicable diseases

Nicotine levels in cigarettes could be reduced to non-addictive levels, according to new plans set out by the US regulatory body. The Food and Drug Administration announced a roadmap to reduce deaths from tobacco, and tobacco-related disease. According to the body, more than 480,000 deaths in the US are caused by tobacco every year

July 28, 2017
The Guardian

FDA Delays Rules That Would Have Limited E-Cigarettes on Market

Non communicable diseases

Electronic-cigarette makers won a major reprieve when the FDA delayed regulations that could have removed many of their products from the market and opened the door to endorsing e-cigarettes as a means to get smokers to quit. The FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, announced the delay as part of a broad plan to reduce tobacco deaths in the US

July 28, 2017
New York Times

Hypertension is the silent killer disease spreading across an Africa that isn’t ready

Non communicable diseases

A survey in four countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, looked at both rural areas and the peri-urban settings in the cities of Nairobi and Johannesburg, and showed that hypertension is a critical health problem in Africa. There are stark differences in the prevalence, awareness and control of high blood pressure on the continent. Ultimately there is a need for regionally tailored intervention

July 24, 2017
QZ Africa

Occupational pesticide and herbicide exposure tied to lung disease

Non communicable diseases

Workers exposed to pesticides and herbicides on the job may be more likely than other people to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis and other breathing problems, an Australian study suggests. With any herbicide exposure at work, people were more than twice as likely to develop COPD by middle age, and workplace pesticide exposure was associated with 74 percent higher odds of the common lung disease

July 28, 2017
Reuters

HbA1c, Plasma Glucose Linked to Alzheimer`s in Diabetes

Non communicable diseases

For patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, fasting plasma glucose visit-to-visit variation, represented by the coefficient of variation, and haemoglobin A1c CV are independently associated with Alzheimer`s disease, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Researchers included 16,706 patients with T2DM in the National Diabetes Care Management Program who were age 60 years or more and without diagnosis of AD. The authors sought to examine the correlation between glycaemic variability and incidence of AD. The researchers identified 831 incident cases of AD during a median follow-up of 8.88 years, with a crude incidence rate of 3.5/1,000 person-years

July 28, 2017
Neurology Advisor

Insulin resistance linked to lower bone density

Non communicable diseases

Decreasing sensitivity to insulin - often associated with obesity and eventual type 2 diabetes - may also cause young adults to have lower bone mass at a time of life when it should be at its peak, Korean researchers say. With insulin resistance, the body is less effective at using the hormone to get blood sugar into cells for energy, which leads to rising insulin levels. About 40 percent of bone mass is developed by the late teens, 90 percent by age 18 and peak lifetime bone mass is reached by the late 20s, the study team notes

July 25, 2017
Reuters

Higher risk for celiac disease in diabetic children

Non communicable diseases

Celiac disease is more common in young people with type 1 diabetes than in diabetes-free kids, although how often the two conditions occur together varies in different countries, a new study finds. “Celiac disease is not uncommon in type 1 diabetes, and regular screening is important,” the study’s lead author Dr. Maria Craig, from UNSW Medicine in Kensington, New South Wales, Australia, said

July 28, 2017
Reuters

Promoting health through the life course

Trump Proposal Would Put Clean Drinking Water out of Reach for Millions Around the World

Promoting health through the life course

Scaling back development assistance as President Trump has envisioned would have disastrous, even lethal, consequences for people living on the brink. For example, his proposal would cut water assistance to Nigeria by 80 percent—even while it endures famine that UNICEF says could claim the lives of a half million children. And it would reduce water and sanitation support to Nepal by 99 percent—even while the Nepalese, still in the early stages of recovery from a horrific earthquake, face threats of disease outbreaks as they rebuild critical water and sanitation infrastructure

July 24, 2017
UN Dispatch

Children bear brunt of militia violence in central Congo

Promoting health through the life course

Children in central Democratic Republic of Congo are bearing the brunt of violence between the army and a local militia which has uprooted at least 1.4 million people over the past year, UNICEF said. Six in 10 of those forced to flee their homes in the conflict-ravaged Kasai region - about 850,000 - are children, leaving them prey to attack, detention, sexual violence, and recruitment by militia fighters, according to the U.N. agency

July 28, 2017
Trust.org

Crowdfunding restores ponds in drought-hit south India

Promoting health through the life course

The worst drought in more than a century in southern India has led to protests, farmer suicides, and clashes at the water taps as reservoirs and lakes dry up in the searing heat. It has also led to an unusual crowdfunding campaign that helped restore a village pond in one of the worst affected areas, with a similar effort planned for a second pond. The effort, led by The Better India website, raised more than 1.1 million rupees ($17,000) on crowdfunding site Milaap

July 27, 2017
Trust.org

Indonesia environment minister wants permanent ban on licences to use forest land

Promoting health through the life course

Indonesia`s environment minister wants to make permanent a moratorium on issuing new licences to use land designated as primary forest and peatland. The moratorium, part of an effort to reduce emissions from fires caused by deforestation, was extended by President Joko Widodo for a third time in May. "So far its only been extended, and extended again. I want a permanent (moratorium)," said Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar

July 24, 2017
Trust.org

German Court Backs Bid to Ban Diesel Cars in Stuttgart

Promoting health through the life course

A German court backed an effort to ban diesel cars from Stuttgart, dealing a blow to carmakers such as Daimler and Volkswagen which had sought to avert legal curbs by modifying vehicles to cut their emissions. Since Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to cheating emissions tests, diesel cars have been scrutinized for nitrogen oxide emissions blamed for causing respiratory disease. Environmental group DUH went to court two months after the VW scandal broke seeking to force the city of Stuttgart to drastically improve its air quality by banning diesel cars. The city has since said it would bar diesel cars which did not conform to the latest emissions standards, on days when pollution is heavy

July 28, 2017
Reuters

Nigeria has largest number of children out-of-school in the world

Promoting health through the life course

Nigeria has the largest number of children in the world who are not being educated, the government has said. Acknowledging the scale of the problem the education ministry`s permanent secretary Adamu Hussaini said it was "sad to note" that Nigeria had 10.5 million children out of school. This is the first time senior officials have admitted the size of the problem. Cultural factors have been blamed but critics point to a lack of money going to publicly funded schools

July 25, 2017
BBC

Indonesia`s disaster agency says forest fire threat to escalate

Promoting health through the life course

Indonesia`s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) has warned of an escalating threat of forest fires with the dry season expected to peak in coming months. Fires had spread to around 64 hectares (158 acres) of fields and forests in Aceh, a northern province on the island of Sumatra, producing haze and some residents had been taken to hospital due to breathing problem, the agency said. "The peak of the dry season is predicted to be in August and September, so the threat of forest and field fires, and drought will escalate," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for BNPB, said

July 25, 2017
Trust.org

India plans overhaul of colonial-era land titles

Promoting health through the life course

India is considering updating its colonial-era land records with a system that cuts fraud and protects the poor as mounting wrangles over land crimp economic growth, an official said. But the overhaul could take decades to come good, he added, despite a growing thirst for land deals in fast-growing India. "Every transaction is imperfect, and the onus of establishing ownership is on the buyer," said S. Chockalingam, director of land records in western Maharashtra state

July 26, 2017
Trust.org