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"World Health Minute" 14 March, 2017

News Highlights
Now Zika May Cause Heart Problems In Healthy Adults Researchers at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Caracas identified nine patients who developed heart rhythm disorders while they had zika, only one had had cardiac problems previously - high blood pressure. “While we anticipated we would see cardiovascular effects from zika, we were surprised at the severity of the findings” researchers told the Wall Street Journal
Republican plan to repeal Obamacare would leave millions uninsured: report Fourteen million American would lose medical insurance by next year ,under a Republican plan to dismantle Obamacare that would also reduce the budget deficit, the non-partisan congressional research office said on Monday, throwing President Trump and the Republicans onto the defensive, as they press forward with replacement legislation
The Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has announced plans to vaccinate its entire population against yellow fever. The Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has announced plans to vaccinate its entire population against yellow fever. The country is grappling with an outbreak that has killed more than 113 people so far. U.S. health authorities are monitoring the situation
Preparedness, surveillance and response
Now Zika May Cause Heart Problems In Healthy Adults
Researchers at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Caracas identified nine patients who developed heart rhythm disorders while they had zika, only one had had cardiac problems previously - high blood pressure. “While we anticipated we would see cardiovascular effects from zika, we were surprised at the severity of the findings” researchers told the Wall Street Journal
Aid agency warns of surge in cholera cases in Somalia
Save the Children warned of an increase in cholera cases in Somalia, which has claimed the lives of 200 people since January, amid the shadow of a looming famine. ‘All the early warning signs of an avoidable catastrophe, with deaths from cholera and acute watery diarrhoea are rising sharply’ the NGO said
Cholera reaches South Sudan`s second-largest city, UN says
The UN says South Sudan’s cholera outbreak has reached the country’s second-largest city, as the number of cases nationwide rises beyond 5,500
H1N1 claims fifth victim in Rajkot since January
H1N1 swine flu claimed another life in a village on the outskirts of Rajkot, taking the death toll due to H1N1 virus to five in the city since January. Sagar Taluk in Karnataka, is reeling under the outbreak of 42 positive cases of H1N1, with 11 reported in just the last week 
Crores ‘wasted’ as dengue still a peril; staff, machines missing in hospitals
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said the capital and the government’s health department woke up far too late during the 2015 dengue virus outbreak, which claimed at least 60 lives. CAG slammed the huge amount of money wasted along with missing machines and staff and the authorities failure to properly account for the huge sums of money spent 
RDC: 29 morts suite à une épidémie de choléra déclarée par les autorités dans l`est du pays
Twenty nine people have died, from 219 cases, in the DRC, as an epidemic of cholera hit the east of the country in the Mambasa region  
World facing gravest humanitarian crisis since 1945
The Financial Times reported on the UN announcement that the world is facing its biggest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War, with 20m people facing starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria
MINSA declara urgencia sanitaria ante casos de tuberculosis
Health authorities in Panama (MINSA) announced a health emergency, due to a tuberculosis outbreak, and admitted they hope to raise the wider alarm about the country’s lack of medical supplies to be able to treat TB cases that present themselves
Typhoid outbreaks out in Solwezi
Three people have died from a typhoid fever outbreak in Solwezi and Mushindamo districts in Zambia. This is out of 13 suspected cases recorded since February 27th of which 11 were from Mushindamo and two from Solwezi 
How Hepatitis Became A Hidden Epidemic In Africa
It is estimated that 100m people are affected by chronic hepatitis B in Africa, most of whom don’t know they have the infection; 19m adults have hepatitis C. Despite a lack of accurate epidemiological data at national levels, various estimations put B prevalence at around 8-10% of the population in many countries
No malaria drugs in Malawi’s hospitals
Malawi24 reports that ‘despite the fact that malaria accounts for 6.81% of deaths in the country, public hospitals have run out of drugs that treat the disease’ (
Nepal reports severe H5N8 bird flu on farm: OIE
Nepal reported a fresh, severe H5N8 bird flu outbreak on a farm. Vietnam reported outbreaks of H5N1 and H5N6 in northern Cao Bang province. Taiwan reported more farms hit by bird flu with H5N8, H5N2 and H5N6 among the varieties found. Malaysia reported its first H5N1 outbreak in nearly 10 years
Polio case detected
A fresh case of polio disease has been reported in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan, after a gap of six years
Burundi`s government says malaria kills over 700 this year
Burundi’s government says malaria has killed more than 700 people this year and the country is facing an epidemic. The DRC province of Kongo Central saw 40 deaths from malaria out of 19,845 cases reported. There is mounting concern over a possible malaria outbreak in Limpopo, though the health authorities there say the situation is under control. The press in Venezuela reported that Nueva Esparta state had 15 fresh cases of malaria. Malaria patients in Odisha were treated with expired saline at the Mayurbhanj Community Health Centre
Chelsea Clinton praises Sanders for Zika op-ed
Senator Bernie Sanders heavily criticized Sanofi in an NYT Opinion Editorial, noting the firm has already received $43m from the government to develop a Zika vaccine and it is now expected to receive a further $130m. Senator Sanders said ‘if Trump approves this deal, Sanofi will be able to charge whatever astronomical price it likes for its vaccine.’ Chelsea Clinton praised Bernie Sanders’ article in a tweet
China bird flu death toll rises to 161 in worst outbreak since 2009
China reported 61 deaths and 161 cases of human infection from H7N9 bird flu in February, the government said, much higher than in previous years, and bringing the death toll in this winter’s outbreak to 161 since October
Toerist in Suriname geïnfecteerd met gele koorts virus
A tourist in Suriname has gone down with yellow fever virus, local media reports
The Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has announced plans to vaccinate its entire population against yellow fever.
The Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has announced plans to vaccinate its entire population against yellow fever. The country is grappling with an outbreak that has killed more than 113 people so far. U.S. health authorities are monitoring the situation
Health systems
Care coordination in U.S. lags other developed nations
U.S. patients are more likely to experience gaps in coordination among healthcare providers than their counterparts in other high-income nations, a new study suggests
Republican plan to repeal Obamacare would leave millions uninsured: report
Fourteen million American would lose medical insurance by next year ,under a Republican plan to dismantle Obamacare that would also reduce the budget deficit, the non-partisan congressional research office said on Monday, throwing President Trump and the Republicans onto the defensive, as they press forward with replacement legislation
Lifestyle diseases pose ‘serious challenge’ for Bangladesh
On a visit to Bangladesh, Dr David Nabarro told the press that ‘lifestyle diseases pose a very serious challenge for Bangladesh’
Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians trapped by conflict: MSF
Hundreds of thousands of people in north eastern Nigeria are beyond reach of aid, trapped between Boko Haram Islamist insurgents and counter-insurgency operations, which have left many without food or work, Doctors Without Borders said. Those who reach health centres report continuing violence against civilians by both sides in Borno state
East Africa is in ICU; the collapsed health sector says it all
The Kenyan doctors strike, now in its fourth month, has paralyzed services in public hospitals. Patients have been forced to turn to private hospitals, with those who cannot afford the high cost of medical services in such hospitals simply left to fend for themselves 
‘Fully doctor-dependant model of primary health care must change’
Dr K Srinath Reddy has been appointed to advise the Odisha state government on health . He spoke to The Times of India about his new advisory role, indicating that the ‘fully doctor-dependent model of primary health care must change’ in his opinion 
Kenya: You Must Return to Work Before Any More Talks, Govt Tells Doctors
The Kenyan government has instructed doctors to return to work before the government will engage with them in more negotiations over pay and conditions
Employees who decline genetic testing could face penalties under proposed bill
U.S. Republicans are proposing legislation aimed at making it easier for companies to gather genetic data from workers and their families, including their children, when they collect it as part of a voluntary wellness programme.  It could also raise the financial penalties for those who opt out of workplace wellness programmes
Physicians Raise Alarm Over Increasing Disease Rate In Nigeria
The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria has raised an alarm over the increasing rate of Non-Communicable Diseases like diabetes, cancer and hypertension in the country
Romania`s healthcare exodus
In the Romanian healthcare system, doctors go through six years of medical school and then three to five years as a hospital resident, treating patients while working under the supervision of senior staff. Then, each year, Romania bleeds tens of thousands of doctors and nurses, dentists and pharmacists – many of whom are lured abroad by what Romania lacks, significantly higher pay, modern infrastructure and a functional healthcare system
GOP health plan bill puts $1B CDC funding for disease prevention at risk
Among the potential casualties of the GOP’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is the $1bn for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fund essential public health programmes, including the prevention of disease outbreaks  
Communicable diseases
More people could benefit from BRCA breast cancer drugs
A study by Serena Nik-Zainal and her team, at the Sanger Institute, found that thousands of breast cancers share biochemical similarities to cases caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. A type of drug called PARP inhibitors can be used to treat these cancers and were specifically designed to target tumours with defects in these genes. But Nik-Zainal’s findings suggest 8,000 more people with breast cancer may also respond to these drugs
Malnutrition threatens to derail Tanzania’s education development
Malnutrition threatens to derail Tanzania’s education development with data showing that in 31 districts where nearly a third of children have been affected by malnutrition, their performances in the 2016 primary school leaving examinations were poor. The Citizen commented ‘chronic malnutrition affects the growth of children below the age of five, impairing their brains’
How Organic Produce Can Make America Less Healthy
Bloomberg highlighted the Environmental Working Group’s annual ‘dirty dozen’ list which is designed to scare people about pesticides on fruit and vegetable and make you buy organic. Bloomberg pointed out that ‘organic marketing could be dissuading some consumers from buying fruit and vegetables at all, and that is really not healthy’
23% population still defecates in the open, says report
A little less than a quarter of Pakistan’s population (or 23%) still defecate in the open, according to the latest Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report by UNICEF and WHO. The report, on safely managed drinking water, reveals Pakistan has missed the sanitation target it set itself and is still within the bracket of countries with lower average coverage
Cuomo’s $1.4 Billion Plan Targets Brooklyn in Fight Against Poor Health and Poverty
New York State Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced a comprehensive plan to direct U.S.$1.4bn in the state’s resources to long-suffering areas of central Brooklyn. The plan would allot the biggest chunk of money to healthcare $700m. Citing persistent problems of poverty, violence and poor health the idea of anti-poverty initiatives is stirring talk of a possible run by Cuomo for the presidency in 2020
Non communicable diseases
SA in crisis regarding kidney disease: Expert
South African experts say that the country is in crisis regarding kidney disease. Research says that 10-15% of people have some form of kidney disease, but only 240-250 transplants are carried out each year in the country’s hospitals, with 9,000 people currently on renal dialysis
Kidney disease`s genetic clues are uncovered
Genetic Markers for Kidney Disease uncovered in new study
`Tuberculosis` kills 14 in Myanmar’s remote north
At least 14 people have died from pulmonary tuberculosis in a remote and impoverished region of Myanmar’s north this year, according to officials
Social media making users feel isolated
A new study suggests that addiction to social media is increasingly leaving users socially isolated, despite spending hours chatting to friends on these platforms. Experts are suggesting a simple solution – go out more often and spend time with real people
People with dementia `failed` by deprivation of liberty law
People with dementia and learning difficulties are being detained in care without checks due to a failing law, the UK Law Commission has reported. Services cannot cope, deadlines were routinely breached and the system should be replaced
Study identifies African-specific genomic variant associated with obesity
An international team of researchers conducted the first study of its kind to look at the genomic underpinnings of obesity in continental Africans and African-Americans. They discovered that approximately 1% of West Africans, African-Americans and others of African descent carry a genomic variant that increases their risk of obesity 
`8 in 10 tuberculosis cases undetected in Nigeria`
Nearly eight out of every ten cases of tuberculosis go undetected, according to the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme
Deadly fungal infection that doctors have been fearing now reported in U.S.
Nearly three dozen people in the United States have been diagnosed with a deadly and highly drug-resistant fungal infection since federal health officials first warned U.S. clinicians to be on the lookout for this emerging pathogen that has been spreading around the world
Cost of kidney dialysis poses ethical dilemma in sub-Saharan Africa
Up to a quarter of all adults in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from chronic kidney disease and only a small fraction ever reach a dialysis treatment centre, a new study has found. Of those who did begin dialysis, they usually quit within two weeks because they cannot afford to continue, and 88% of those died, the research found
Depression may be biggest cause of lost productivity with sinus problems
A new study has been published which suggests that depression is the biggest source of lost productivity, along with chronic sinus problems, and this might cause sufferers to miss work or school
Adults who were preemies may face more mental health risks
Adults who were born prematurely at a very low birth weight may be more likely to experience mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, a recent study indicated
Gene-ius discovery: Fifty years after Barnard’s transplant, SA makes another cardiac breakthrough
South African researchers have discovered a gene that is a major cause of sudden death among under-35s, it is a discovery likely to put South Africa on the map in the world of genetics. The gene called CDH2, is found in everyone, but a mutation causes a genetic disease known as arrythmogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy, which increases the risk of heart disease and cardiac arrest
World Kidney Day: Chronic kidney diseases on rise in sub urban India
Kidney diseases are rapidly increasing globally and reaching epidemic proportions. In the absence of a renal registry in India, the real extent of CKD is unknown, but with the rising prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in the country the prevalence of CKD is expected to increase
Promoting health through the life course
REVEALED: Domestic violence, sexual abuse make women more vulnerable to HIV
Domestic violence and sexual abuse increases the risk of HIV among women, a new report by UNAIDS has revealed. A lack of access to education and health services and a lack of decision-making power are contributing factors to women’s vulnerability to HIV, the report concluded
At least 12,000 people killed by domestic violence every year? Russia`s not even sure
With Russia recently signing a bill to decriminalise domestic violence, this is a pandemic that is leading to around 38 women being killed every day with the deaths in rural areas, sometimes masked as suicides
South Africa’s rape epidemic
In a study published in November, by the University of Witwatersrand and Sonke Gender Justice, 2,600 men in Diepsloot were surveyed anonymously. An astonishing 38% admitted to having used force or threats to obtain sex in the preceding year. Add those who said they had beaten, hurt or threatened to use a weapon against a women and the share jumped to 54% and these men said they had committed such crimes more than once
There’s a Global Rape Epidemic and There Are Few Laws to Prevent it
A report released last week entitled ‘The World’s Shame’ by the international human rights organization Equality Now, has revealed the inadequacy of laws all over the world to protect women against sexual violence. Over a lifetime, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence – regardless of age, background or country. According to UNICEF, one in 10 girls – around 120m – experience rape or sexual assault globally
Women’s rights are under fresh assault worldwide, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned
Women’s rights are under fresh assault worldwide, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned as the UN kicked off a conference to take stock of the fight for gender equality
Chinese Lawmaker Proposes Cutting Nation`s High Marriage Age
A Chinese lawmaker is proposing to cut the minimum age for men and women to marry,, down from 20 for women and 22 for men to just 18 years old. The rationale is to encourage more births as the nation grows older
Bolivia Eyes Legalizing Abortion for Women in Extreme Poverty
Bolivia is considering legalizing abortion for women in extreme poverty. The proposal seeks to decriminalize abortion in nine cases, including in the case of mothers who are living in poverty and do not have the resources to support the child  
Women Who Have Sex With Women Are Being Incorrectly Told They Don’t Need Smear Tests
LGBT women are incorrectly being told they do not need to attend smear tests, LGBT charities are warning. Research shows that 37% of women in this category have been told they do not require a cervical smear test due to their sexual orientation. So, over half of them have disengaged from the screening programme wrongly believing they were not at risk
US may go cheek by jowl with women’s rights abusers at UN gender talks
Donald Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ could align the U.S. with Iran, Sudan, Syria and other countries targeted by his U.S. travel ban at the Commission on the Status of Women talks in New York 
CDC warns women about Zika-infected semen
The CDC issued a warning that more people in South Florida’s tri-county area may have been exposed to the Zika virus than previously thought. And since the virus can remain in semen for up to three months, CDC officials said that women who are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant from donated sperm, should consult with their doctors
Ireland Has To Trust Women With Their Own Reproductive Rights - If Not More Will Die
Eleven women travel every single day from Ireland to the UK in order to access safe abortions. The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign called for women’s reproductive rights to be recognised
Filipino women struggle for birth control
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order calling for the full implementation of the so-called Reproductive Health Law which would give an estimated 6m women in need access to birth control. But unless the Supreme Court lifts its temporary restraining order on the registration of contraceptives, the Philippines may run out by 2020. According to government data an estimated 2m women are poor and require government assistance to access contraceptives