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"World Health Minute" 27 April, 2017

News Highlights
Sudan: New Cholera Cases in El Gedaref, Eastern Sudan A source told Radio Dabanga that five new cases of cholera were registered on Wednesday and Thursday. Fifteen patients who entered the wards at the El Gireisha hospital were discharged after recovery. The El Mahala isolation ward in eastern El Gallabat received a new cholera patient from El Zureiga. The ward saw 20 new cases last week
A Harvard doctor just won $1 million for a project that could prevent the next deadly pandemic Dr Raj Panjabi just won the $1m TED prize for an idea that dramatically increases the number of paid community health workers around the world. Panjabi is a physician and co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, an organization that expands access to healthcare through the hiring of professional community health workers. He wants to recruit and train the largest army of community health workers that has ever been known
US major market for illegal online drug sales from India The modus operandi of racketeers is to create websites that look authentic and make customers believe that even if calls are being taken/made from outside their local countries, dugs are procured locally. The global anonymity of the internet provides a safe haven for illicit prescription drug sales and many counterfeit products sold in the U.S. seem to have been manufactured outside the USA, particularly in China and India
Preparedness, surveillance and response
Suspenden operaciones en Hospital de Sullana tras aumento de casos de dengue
The Sullana Hospital in the Piura district is full to bursting point with dengue patients and it has had to suspend medical interventions until it has dealt with the current crisis. The hospital team said it had dealt with 158 feverish cases in January. Then 206 in February which rose to 554 in March and April to date has seen a further 700 – making a total of 1,500 cases dealt with by this hospital in this year so far 
Malanje: Malária faz 115 mortes em três meses na província
Around 115 people have died of malaria during the year to date in Malanje province in Angola. This mortality rate is out of 86,823 cases registered during the same period. Health authorities said last year there were 117,778 cases and 86 deaths in the same period
OMS: Sudán del Sur registra casi 400.000 nuevos casos de malaria en cuatro meses
WHO said that there have been 391,000 new cases of malaria with 19 deaths in South Sudan since the start of the year
349 guerrilleros y civiles están afectados por brote de malaria en zona veredal de Antioquia
349 former Colombian guerrillas and their associates have been hit by an outbreak of malaria in Carrizal, a zone northeast of Antioquia, according to local authorities, with the malaria outbreak appearing suddenly and there being 50 new cases in the last week
Los casos de dengue no disminuyen en Boquerón
Health authorities recorded 86 confirmed cases of dengue and 107 likely. This was a rise of 11 new confirmed cases from last week. There are also a further 102 suspicious feverous cases and another 71 cases in which dengue has been discounted in favour of other diagnostics
Epidemias no dan tregua en Nicaragua
In Nicaragua malaria cases continue to increase, there were 111 new cases last week, and to date there have been 1,759 malaria cases for the year – this is up on the same period in 2016 when there were 1,314 cases. There were seven deaths from pneumonia and there have been 38,039 cases so far this year. Also recorded were 41 cases of dengue and 6 cases of leptospirosos, an illness that has hit 187 people so far this year
Casos de dengue se disparan a 153 y solo en Chimbote suben de cinco a 25
Alarm in the Pacifico Norte health region as cases of dengue in Chimbote rise from five to 25 cases, and in Coischo, from 107 to 128 cases. Overall the Pacifico Norte region has 153 confirmed cases of dengue
25 alumnas y 6 docentes de colegio Fátima con dengue
25 students and 6 teachers at the Our Lady of Fatima school in Catacaos in the Piura region have fallen sick with dengue
Monkey fever claims woman`s life in Goa - What you need to know about this condition
A 45-year-old woman from a remote area in Sattari taluka of Goa succumbed to monkey fever on Monday. The woman died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome. The Goa government set up a centre at Valpoi for suspected KFD patients. The official said the centre tested 422 samples of which 75 turned out to be positive for the disease
Lunda Sul: Província considerada endémica em casos de malária
The Angolan Lunda Sul health authorities recorded 11,587 cases of malaria during the first quarter of the current year. The health team said there are many victims of malaria, though the data is still at a provisional level and numbers may increase, there are currently 19 recorded deaths
Aumentan a 529 los casos confirmados de dengue en Lambayeque
The number of confirmed dengue cases in Lambayeque increased to 529, those most affected are stay-at-home mothers and children under 10 years old. The districts most affected are Chiclayo, La Victoria, Tuman and Jose Leonardo Ortiz
Fighting a deadly measles outbreak amid insecurity in Somalia
Thousands of children have been infected by measles in famine-threatened Somalia, already hit by an epidemic of cholera, UNICEF said. Data from the 2011 famine says that measles, combined with malnutrition and displacement is a lethal combination for children. Among vaccine preventable diseases none is more deadly than measles
Áncash: reportan 153 pacientes con dengue en El Santa
There are 153 patients with confirmed dengue in Ancash, in the El Santa province. There are also a further 691 with likely symptoms
Sudan: New Cholera Cases in El Gedaref, Eastern Sudan
A source told Radio Dabanga that five new cases of cholera were registered on Wednesday and Thursday. Fifteen patients who entered the wards at the El Gireisha hospital were discharged after recovery. The El Mahala isolation ward in eastern El Gallabat received a new cholera patient from El Zureiga. The ward saw 20 new cases last week
Cuanza Sul: Registado mais de 100 mil casos de malária durante o primeiro trimestre
The health coordinator in the Angolan province of Cuanza Sul said there had been 1,326 cases of malaria in the first three months of the year with 340 deaths, which is six percent lower than at the same stage last year
WHO says Liberia taking precautions after mystery deaths
Liberian health authorities are taking rapid precautionary steps after eight people died of a mystery illness, the World Health Organization said, 10-months after the end of the two year Ebola virus outbreak. Liberian authorities said initial scientific investigations rule out Ebola as the cause but specimens from the seven bodies have been sent to the national laboratory for testing with results later this week
Meningitis outbreak in Nigeria has killed 813 people: minister
A meningitis outbreak in Nigeria has killed 813 people so far this year, the country’s health minister said. The government approved a house-to-house search in northern Nigeria to identify those afflicted with meningitis for vaccination and treatment, the minister told reporters
Casos de dengue en el Perú ascienden a 4.738, confirma el Minsa
In Peru, Minsa said that as of April 15th at least 4,738 people had contracted dengue in the year to date. Piura is the region with the majority of cases, with 1,900 confirmed and 5,307 suspected cases. To date seven people with dengue have died. There are 11,310 probable dengue cases across the 25 regions of the country
Chongqing declares another case of human H7N9 infection, now stands at four
Chongqing was one of the first cities for a human-H7N9 infection, it says it has another case making its new total 4  
Cunene: Angola regista quatro milhões de casos de malária em 12 meses
The Angolan minister of health told reporters the country recorded 4m cases of malaria in the last twelve months which resulted in 15,000 deaths across the country’s 18 provinces. Malaria continues to be one of the highest causes of morbidity in the country, particularly amongst children under five and pregnant women
Health systems
Uganda: Mayuge Fishermen Demand Anti-HIV/Aids Services
A substantial section of the population in the Mayuge district of Uganda are unhappy with dwindling healthcare services which authorities are rendering to communities that are at most risk of catching HIV/Aids due to the lifestyle surrounding the fishing communities, so there is an urgent need for worthy treatment and services. The need for regular HIV Aids/TB check-ups and information on permissible sex and the distance people have to travel to access healthcare leaves them extremely vulnerable
New bednet options required to boost night safety from malaria
With pyrethroid class insecticide the only WHO approved class for some 12 years, new technology to treat anti-malaria bednets is becoming critical due to likely insecticide resistance, so one approach in the pipeline is to treat bednets with pyriproxyfen, which stops female mosquitoes from producing eggs. More research needs to be scaled up and more investment sought which is where WHO can play a role
En Venezuela, la malaria ha incrementado 15 veces en últimos cuatro años
Malaria has increased 15-fold in the last four years and four fold since the year 2000. Back then, malaria in Venezuela was just 2% of all the infections caused by the disease across Latin America (29,000 cases). By 2015, there were 136,000 cases, increasing to 140,000 cases in 2016. Now, Venezuela accounts for 48% of all cases across Latin America. The situation is likely to worsen as diagnostic capabilities within the healthcare system falter
Doctors and staffers handling swine-flu cases at the Nagpur GMCH hospital are facing the threat of the H1N1
Doctors and staffers handling swine-flu cases at the Nagpur GMCH hospital are facing the threat of the H1N1 virus as none of them have been provided with swine flu vaccines. Every year doctors in the risky environment put themselves at high risk and the Times of India reports this hospital sees two to three of them get infected with TB on average each year
Injured Venezuela protesters face another woe: finding medicine
Demonstrators in Venezuela where the state prosecutor says 437 people have been hurt in a months of protests are struggling to get treatment in a crisis-hit country where basics like antibiotics and painkillers are running short. Families are hauling relatives to multiple health centres, scouring pharmacies for medicine, raising funds to buy pricier drugs on the black market and posting messages on social media begging for medical donations
A Harvard doctor just won $1 million for a project that could prevent the next deadly pandemic
Dr Raj Panjabi just won the $1m TED prize for an idea that dramatically increases the number of paid community health workers around the world. Panjabi is a physician and co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, an organization that expands access to healthcare through the hiring of professional community health workers. He wants to recruit and train the largest army of community health workers that has ever been known
The CEO of HIV
The New York Times interviews Michael Weinstein, boss of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, one of the biggest AIDS treatment organizations in the world, yet, also one that has earned the distrust of many activists. The interview explains the story of Weinstein and how he has arrived at this place  
India`s antitrust watchdog orders probe into Roche cancer drug
India’s anti-trust regulator has ordered a probe into Roche for using anti-competitive practices to restrict cheaper copies of a blockbuster drug from reaching patients. Roche’s Trastuzumab is being challenged by several biosimilars which are sold at about 25% discount to the original. India’s Biocon and U.S. firm Mylan, which sell biosimilars of the drug in over a dozen countries including India, filed a complaint with the Competition Commissioner of India alleging Roche misled doctors and regulators to thwart competition to trastuzumab
US major market for illegal online drug sales from India
The modus operandi of racketeers is to create websites that look authentic and make customers believe that even if calls are being taken/made from outside their local countries, dugs are procured locally. The global anonymity of the internet provides a safe haven for illicit prescription drug sales and many counterfeit products sold in the U.S. seem to have been manufactured outside the USA, particularly in China and India
Ted 2017: Frugal scientist offers malaria tools
Manu Prakash, a bio-engineer at Stanford University, designs cheap tools that can make a big difference in the poorest parts of the world. At Ted, he showed off his latest gizmo – a cardboard centrifuge that can spot malarial parasites in blood. Toy-inspired, it costs 20 cents. He also launched a citizen science project to identify disease-carrying mosquitoes by their sound, called the ‘Abuzz Project’
Communicable diseases
Country facing major data gaps in monitoring SDGs
Bangladesh is facing a considerable data gap for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals as statistics on over two-thirds of the indicators are either partially available or not available at all, a new study has revealed. There are 241 indicators to monitor the 169 targets under the 17 SDGs. But data on only 70 indicators is readily available, 108 partially available and in 63 instances not available at all, the study said 
Mexico becomes first in Americas to wipe out tropical eye disease
Mexico has become the first country in the Americas to eliminate trachoma, but the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness remains endemic in Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala, the World Health Organization said. Key was specially trained medical workers who helped cut the number of cases in tricky regions, like Chiapas, from 1,800 in 2004 to zero in 2016, by promoting hygiene, antibiotics for infection and surgery for advanced cases of trachoma
Latest breakthroughs point a way foward to eradicating malaria
Scientists from the Crick Institute and the Welcome Trust discovered a family of genes called pir determines how long malaria parasites persist in the human body. These parasites expressing the pir genes take over as the dominant parasite and establish a long lasting and persistent infection. This discovery opens the possibility that treatments targeting the pir genes could prevent persistent infection that causes chronic malaria. Studying the genomes of the parasites, scientists also found two genetic markers associated with piperaquine resistance. These markers can be used to monitor the spread of drug-resistant malaria
As Indian Kashmir`s lush valleys turn to concrete, fears of flooding rise
In 2014-14 farming in the Indian-Kashmir region represented 17% of the region’s GDP whereby just 10 years earlier this stood at 28%. Farmers are cashing-in on soaring land prices and selling up, land for growing paddy has shrunk by nearly a third since 2012, with a loss of more than 44,000 hectares. Srinagar has become one of the fastest growing urban areas in the world as many migrate to it. But locals says unrestricted house building is now putting people at higher risk of floods as the climate change impact bites, it leaves behind those in the mountainous region where only a third of the land is cultivatable and dramatically forces up the need for food imports
WHO’s deadly omission as tuberculosis marches on
After an uproar over the omission of TB from the WHO list of 12 pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics, the global body said it was considering editing the list to include TB. This list was intended to encourage R&D of new antibiotics in the midst of gloom that medicines are losing their power to cure diseases. Researchers and health specialists did not take kindly to Mycobacterium tuberculosis being omitted from a list of micro-organisms that pose the greatest public health risk
‘India has potential for $1 trillion worth of sustainable business opportunities’
Lise Kingo CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said more than 50% of the progress towards the SDGs will come from India. The UNGC report shows there is $1tr worth of market opportunities for companies working in the sustainable area in India and sizeable employment generation by 2030
A call for implementation science and systems innovation in global health
Healthcare pilot programmes cannot turn into progress without implementation science, which examines why some of the innovations that work in the lab fail in the field. Therefore, accelerating health improvements is only possible with different modes of delivery. Solving the conundrum of having much better drugs and interventions than ever before but them being seemingly useless as the world cannot get them to the people who need them most
Concern over Zika leads WHO to go for pilot programmes
Growing concern internationally over Zika persuaded WHO to develop carefully planned pilot programmes accompanied by independent monitoring and evaluation. Oxitec trials show a reduction in mosquito populations of above 90%. But as critics point out, that does not necessarily lead to a similar level of disease reduction. Other factors may sustain infection even with a smaller number of insects 
FAO, WAHO sign agreement to support Health development
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the West Africa Health Organization have signed a partnership agreement to support common vision of health development, nutrition and biodiversity. The agreement was signed on the sideline of a Forum on Public Private Partnership in health for the ECOWAS region in Accra. It enhances operational research aimed at reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases in relation to morbidity
Non communicable diseases
Kenya: Diet Puts Children At Risk of Developing Diabetes
The chair of the Diabetes Association of Kenya called menus in schools ‘frightening’ saying schools are feeding children with lots of carbohydrates. The situation is made worse by unregulated development that leaves no room for playgrounds in schools and marketing that encourages the consumption of foods that not only contain carcinogens but also predispose them to cancer. What data on diabetes there is indicates that it is 3% in rural areas and 14% in urban ones – pointing at the potential scale of the problem 
Study finds how polluting nanoparticles get into blood and damage hearts
Inhaled nanoparticles like those pumped out in vehicle exhausts can work their way through the lungs and into the bloodstream where they can raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes, scientists said on Wednesday. Most worryingly, scientists who conducted this experiment said, nanoparticles tend to build up in damaged blood vessels of people who already suffer from coronary heart disease and make it worse
Specialists under fire for dismissing saturated fat link to heart disease
Heart experts have been criticized for claiming it is plain wrong to believe that saturated fats clog up arteries. Three specialists argued that eating real food, taking exercise and reducing stress are better ways to stave off heart disease than cutting out dietary saturated fat. The editorial, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, attracted scathing criticism for being too simplistic and misleading
As Public Attention Turns To Mental Health, Let’s Not Forget Women And Girls
About one in five women in the UK have a mental health problem, compared to one in eight men. Men remain far more likely to die by suicide, but there is a worrying increase in mental health issues with women, up 8.3% in a single year, and the number now stands at its highest rate in England in over a decade
Obesity "frightening" in Latin America, driving disease and draining economies- U.N.
More than two thirds of people living in Chile, Ecuador and Mexico are overweight or obese, costing their economies tens of billions of dollars every year, driving rates of disease and straining health services, a UN report said on Tuesday. The implications for the future of the countries is frightening, undernutrition is declining, but over-nutrition is expected to become the largest social and economic burden in the region, said the UN World Food Programme
Government must boost investment in mental health care
An editorial article in the South China Morning Post called in the government to boost investment in the mental health care system. It called for a substantial increase in recurrent expenditure on psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and social workers to meet the service demand without placing undue stress on the system and meet the needs of an ageing population which is growing in number
If we want to improve mental health, first we need to tackle poverty
The Guardian welcomes Prince Harry’s recent intervention on the topic of mental health but adds that removing the stigma attached to the illness is not enough and society needs to look at the role of poverty. In the UK the Mental health Foundation say that the poorest fifth of the population are twice as likely to be at risk of mental health problems as those on average incomes, in fact, poverty increases the likelihood of developing mental illness and mental illness increases the likelihood of poverty
One in five Vietnamese adults suffer from high blood pressure
It is estimated that around 12m people in Vietnam currently suffer from high blood pressure, meaning that one in every five adults has a condition that can cause a number of serious health problems. The warning was announced at a conference on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and hypertension in Hanoi by experts from the country’s ministry of health
Promoting health through the life course
Sex and labor trafficking survivors call for funding and jobs, not pity
After escaping sexual slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude, survivors of human trafficking called or help in finding jobs and funding, not pity, to help them to rebuild their lives. An estimated 46m people are living in modern day slavery and profits from the illegal industry are said to be around $150bn. There are calls for more start-up money for survivors who want to start their own businesses. Survivors need job opportunities to help them pay off debts and bring back some normalcy into their lives
Green the red: Indian city breaks taboos for "sustainable menstruation"
The Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram is leading the way in breaking the taboo surrounding menstruation as it seeks to ‘green the red’ and develop a sustainable menstruation project promoted by the city’s civic authority. From vending machines dispensing cotton pads to awareness campaign and higher disposal fees for girls and women using disposable pads, the city of more than 1.5m is taking measures to help women switch to eco-friendly menstruation products
Mom`s financial strain linked to smaller, weaker babies: study
A new study has found that a financially strapped pregnant woman’s worries about the arrival and care of her little one could contribute to the birth of a smaller, more medically vulnerable infant
WHO pressures Big Pharma to donate more drugs for tropical diseases
The World Health Organization is urging pharma companies to help combat neglected tropical diseases via increased drugs donations. WHO said that while companies like Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline are major donors, further industry assistance is needed. ‘There is no group of diseases that is so intimately linked to poverty. The medicines exist but they are too expensive and neither do the people have the money to be able to pay’
WHO says 69% of pregnant women lack access to preventive malaria treatment in Africa
In a statement ahead of World Malaria Day, WHO called on all malaria endemic countries in Africa to urgently improve access to preventative malaria treatment and other critical tools for pregnant women on the continent. Despite progress made in malaria prevention in pregnant women in Africa, 69% of them are still not receiving the recommended doses of intermittent treatment in pregnancy therapy required for protection against malaria infection
Scientists develop fluid-filled artificial womb to help premature babies
Scientists in the United States have developed a fluid-filled womb-like bag known as an extra-uterine support device that could transform care for extremely premature babies, thereby significantly increasing their chances of survival
Postpartum haemorrhage: Cheap lifesaver `cuts deaths by a third`
Every year, 100,000 women die from massive bleeding in the moments after giving birth. Now an international study published by the Lancet suggests that tranexamic acid could cut that number by a third. It acts by stopping blood clots from breaking down to make it easier for the body to stem bleeding
‘Overemphasis on polio hampering fight against other diseases’
The Pakistan Paediatric Association (PPAP) said that thousands of children in Sindh are dying of vaccine-preventable diseases because the state health authorities are over-emphasizing the fight against polio and neglecting the equally important fight against other vaccine preventable diseases
UK candidate for top WHO job vows to help Pacific
Attending meetings at the Pacific Heads of Health Meeting in Suva this week Dr David Nabarro said if elected as Director General of WHO he would seek to create a special relationship between WHO and the Pacific island countries through special initiatives 
UK nominee to focus on Pacific islands
One of the nominees for the position of Director General of the World Health Organization has vowed to help the pacific nations develop their health services and promote healthier lifestyles