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Newsletters

"World Health Minute 3 October 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

There were over 750,000 cases of cholera in Yemen in just 5 months, as US-Saudi war continues. Worst outbreak in recorded history

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Madness: There were over 750,000 cases of cholera in Yemen in just 5 months, as US-Saudi war continues. Worst outbreak in recorded history

September 29, 2017
@BenjaminNorton

Health systems

Communicable diseases

Non communicable diseases

Promoting health through the life course


"World Health Minute 31 July 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

Communicable diseases

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

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

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

`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

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

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

Promoting health through the life course

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

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

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


"World Health Minute 24 July 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Indian Poultry Farms Are Breeding Drug-Resistant Superbugs

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Random tests on 18 poultry farms raising about 50,000 birds each in India’s Punjab found that two-thirds of fowl harbored bacteria that produce special enzymes, known as extended-spectrum beta-lactamase, or ESBL, that destroy most penicillin- and cephalosporin-based antibiotics. Of tested birds destined for meat consumption, 87 percent had the super germs, a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives showed. That compared with 42 percent of egg-laying hens

July 20, 2017
Bloomberg

TB infection at mass facilities on rise: report

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Suspected cases of tuberculosis outbreaks at mass facilities more than tripled in South Korea over the past three years, a report showed. According to a report from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government conducted 3,502 epidemiological investigations in 2016 for possible TB outbreaks at schools, hospitals and other mass facilities where at least one person was confirmed to have contracted the infectious disease. The number of surveys more than tripled from 1,142 in 2013

July 20, 2017
Korea Herald

Yellow Fever in La Paz

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Four cases have been recorded in Norte de los Yunga with two deaths so far, a young girl of 9 and a man aged 38 years old. Health authorities say they are reinforcing their campaign against the disease and seeking to take all necessary precautionary actions to get the disease under control

July 20, 2017
El Dia.com.bo

Malaria alert in district

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The District Medical Officer (Health) issued an advisory against the outbreak of malaria in Kozhikode district after three cases of an indigenous form of the disease were reported in the city limits in the past two days. V. Jayashree, DMO, said that indigenous malaria cases were being reported from certain parts of the district for the past three years. “There is a common form of malaria found among migrant labourers who belong to other States. Another form is diagnosed among natives who return here after travelling to other places. The indigenous form is found among natives who don’t travel much”

July 21, 2017
The Hindu

Health systems

Sexual violence in Haiti is a public health problem

Health systems

Rampant sexual violence in Haiti against women and children, including some toddlers, should be treated as a public health issue and more care made available for survivors, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. Most of the 1,300 survivors of sexual violence who had been treated at one clinic run by MSF in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince since it opened in May 2015 are younger than 25, and more than half are children, according to a MSF report

July 19, 2017
Trust.org

Gaza health care suffers as Palestinian factions play blame game

Health systems

In what is seen as the latest step in an effort to force Hamas to relinquish its control of Gaza, Abbas in June reduced the payments the PA makes to Israel for electricity it supplies to the territory, meaning that Gaza`s two million people now have only 3 to 4 hours of power a day, forcing hospitals and other medical facilities to rely chiefly on generators and expensive fuel. Hamas says that Abbas restricted transfers of medicine to Gaza in March, accusing Hamas of failing to reimburse the PA for its purchases, and cut the salaries of its officials in May

July 19, 2017
Reuters

China adds blockbuster drugs to insurance list after price cuts

Health systems

China will add three dozen new drugs to a list of medicines covered by basic insurance schemes after global pharmaceutical firms agreed to slash prices of blockbuster treatments for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said it had agreed to add 36 drugs to the National Reimbursable Drugs List in return for an average 44 percent price cut against last year`s retail prices

July 19, 2017
Reuters

EU watchdog concerned drug agency EMA may be too close to companies

Health systems

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), eager to accelerate access to promising new drugs, may be getting too cosy with the pharmaceutical companies it regulates. That is the concern of the watchdog charged with overseeing administrative irregularities in the European Union, which is launching a strategic inquiry to see if early-stage interactions with firms could influence agency approval decisions

July 19, 2017
Reuters

Communicable diseases

500,000 Malaysians likely have hepatitis C

Communicable diseases

About half a million Malaysians are believed to have hepatitis C, said Health Minister S. Subramaniam, adding that many were unaware they had been infected with the virus because of a lack of awareness about the disease. If left untreated, hepatitis C could be fatal, or lead to liver cancer or cirrhosis

July 22, 2017
Straits Times

Genetic variation linked to greater tuberculosis susceptibility

Communicable diseases

Researchers have shown that a single nucleotide change in a gene that affects production of hepcidin--a peptide involved in inflammation, immunity, and control of iron levels--is associated with greater susceptibility to extra-pulmonary tuberculosis

July 21, 2017
liebertpub.com

Scales tip in AIDS fight as death rates decline, treatment rates rise

Communicable diseases

The scales have tipped in the fight against AIDS, with more than half of people infected with HIV now getting treatment and AIDS-related deaths almost halving since 2005, the United Nations said. In its latest global report on the pandemic, which has killed around 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s, the UNAIDS agency said there were particularly encouraging signs in Africa, a continent ravaged by the disease

July 20, 2017
Reuters

GeneXpert for Tuberculosis can detect viral load in HIV: Study

Communicable diseases

Doctors at Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore decided to put their GeneXpert machine, which is in routine used to detect if the sputum sample is resistant to first line TB drug, Rifampacin, to use for detecting viral loads in HIV patients. In 96.6 per cent of cases, the viral load figures for a patient on both GeneXpert and TaqMan Assay fell within threshold of statistical acceptability

July 19, 2017
dnaindia.com

Non communicable diseases

Cardiovascular disease may help speed glaucoma progression

Non communicable diseases

Cardiovascular disease is an important risk factor for rapid progression of glaucoma disease, regardless of IOP, according to a study. Looking at the clinical and visual field data of 11,254 eyes collected between 1991 and 2015, the authors of the study selected 54 eyes that satisfied the criteria for rapid progression. A total of 486 eyes were selected as non-rapid progressors for the control group. Patients with a cardiovascular history had double the chance to be rapid progressors as compared with controls

July 18, 2017
Healio.com

Study to identify genetic risk of kidney diseases

Non communicable diseases

A study to determine the genetic risk of kidney diseases caused by diabetes is currently under way. The results could help doctors screen patients more effectively and give them early treatment. The $25 million research study is the latest programme to be funded under the health and biomedical sciences domain of the $19 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 plan. It aims to determine the underlying genes and process of how kidney diseases caused by diabetes develop

July 22, 2017
Straits Times

WHO report finds dramatic increase in life-saving tobacco control policies in last decade

Non communicable diseases

The latest WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic finds that more countries have implemented tobacco control policies, ranging from graphic pack warnings and advertising bans to no smoking areas. About 4.7 billion people – 63% of the world’s population – are covered by at least one comprehensive tobacco control measure, which has quadrupled since 2007 when only 1 billion people and 15% of the world’s population were covered

July 19, 2017
World Health Organization

Two key CKD biomarkers predict risk for future peripheral artery disease

Non communicable diseases

Among patients without symptomatic peripheral artery disease at baseline, a lower estimated glomerular filtration rate and higher urinary albumin to creatinine ratio — even when not rising to the level of albuminuria — significantly increase the risk for developing future vascular disease, according to findings from a large meta-analysis of international prospective cohorts

July 21, 2017
Healio.com

Promoting health through the life course

More girls at risk of genital mutilation in Germany

Promoting health through the life course

The number of girls living in Germany who have had their genitals mutilated increased sharply in 2016 due to migrants arriving from countries where this is practised, a spokeswoman for a women`s rights organisation said. More than 58,000 women living in Germany have had their genitals mutilated, Terre des Femmes said. Spokeswoman Charlotte Weil said that marked an increase of 10,000 compared with 2015

July 18, 2017
trust.org

Life expectancy increases in Britain beginning to stall - report

Promoting health through the life course

Life expectancy in Britain has all but stopped rising after more than 100 years of advances, a leading professor of public health said. Until 2010, life expectancy at birth was rising by one year every five years for women, and by one year every three and a half years for men. But since 2010, the average rate of increase has halved, and in 2013-15 it was near zero, a report by the Institute of Health Equity found

July 18, 2017
Reuters

Progress too slow on global goals for sustainable development, UN says

Promoting health through the life course

Progress is not moving fast enough to meet an ambitious set of global goals to conquer poverty, inequality and other international woes by a 2030 deadline, slowed largely by growing war and violence, the United Nations said. The cost of implementation has been estimated at $3 trillion a year. "The rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030," wrote U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

July 17, 2017
trust.org

Abortion rights groups sue Texas to block procedure ban

Promoting health through the life course

Abortion rights groups filed a lawsuit seeking to block a Texas law that bans the most common method of second-trimester abortion which critics argue erodes women`s rights. The challenge, which came six weeks after the state`s governor signed the law, was the latest salvo in a battle over state laws enacted by Republican-controlled state legislatures that advocates say limit access to abortion

July 20, 2017
Reuters


"World Health Minute 17 July 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Hyderabad: Alarm as swine flu comes to town

Preparedness, surveillance and response

A 55-year-old man from Mahboobnagar has contracted swine flu and was rushed to Gandhi Hospital for treatment. Doctors at Gandhi Hospital said that the patient does not have any other co-morbid conditions and is undergoing treatment. Superintendent of Gandhi Hospital, Dr Shravan Kumar explained, “As the temperatures have come down the virus is active again and is affecting those whose immune systems are low”

July 12, 2017
Deccan Chronicle

WHO: Lassa fever outbreak response remains ongoing, mitigation measures to continue

Preparedness, surveillance and response

An outbreak of Lassa fever has recently been reported by officials from the World Health Organization in multiple West African nations including Nigeria. As of last month, a total of 501 suspected cases have been reported, 104 of which resulted in the deaths of the patient involved. In the remaining reported cases, 189 have been further classified by public health officials and 175 have been laboratory confirmed as Lassa infected. Seventeen Nigerian states have reported at least one confirmed case

July 12, 2017
Homeland Preparedness News

Measles `tragedy` kills 35 across Europe

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Thirty-five people have died in the past year from measles outbreaks across Europe, the World Health Organization has warned. A six-year-old boy in Italy was the latest to die from the infection. More than 3,300 measles cases have been recorded in the country. The most fatalities - 31 - have been in Romania. But there have also been deaths in Germany and Portugal since June 2016

July 11, 2017
BBC

South Africa confirms two more cases of H5N8 bird flu on poultry farms

Preparedness, surveillance and response

South Africa`s agricultural department confirmed two more outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu have been detected on commercial layer farms in the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Two previous outbreaks of avian flu in recent weeks have also been detected in South Africa, including on a farm belonging to poultry producer Astral

July 12, 2017
Reuters

Health systems

British drugs body to challenge new cost rules in court

Health systems

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said that it wanted to reverse changes that "have the potential to cause significant delays for patients waiting for treatment for a range of conditions, including for cancer, heart disease and diabetes". The changes, which came into force in April, mean that new drugs costing the National Health Service more than 20 million pounds a year will no longer be funded automatically, even if they are cost-effective. Instead, companies will have to enter negotiations to justify their use and work out funding

July 10, 2017
Reuters

World Bank program will speed response to pandemics

Health systems

The bank has announced the issuance of $500 million in specialized bonds and derivatives that will help poor countries cope with a pandemic such as Ebola. The effort will create a trust fund, the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, that can be quickly deployed for pandemic response. Investors who buy the bonds and provide the trust-fund financing upfront will reap premiums but will also be taking a risk. If there is a major outbreak, the investors will lose some or all of their cash. One big advantage is that instead of waiting around for slow-moving national governments to fund a disease response, the resources necessary for saving lives will be available quickly

July 10, 2017
Omaha World-Herald

Pill-Popping Is a Business Worth Watching for Japan`s Drugmakers

Health systems

Medication adherence is seen as an impediment to health as well as sales in Japan, and companies including Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Eisai are working with technology firms on compliance-boosting solutions. The strategy aligns with a worldwide drive for efficiency as drug makers try to defend their profits from the cost-cuts sought by budget-strained health systems. In Japan, where an aging population has caused medical expenses to balloon, helping patients take medications as prescribed by their doctor may spur sales in a drug market predicted to expand at half the global pace over the next five years

July 10, 2017
Bloomberg

Britain to hold inquiry into contaminated blood scandal which killed 2,400

Health systems

Britain will hold a public inquiry into contaminated blood supplied to patients in the National Health Service which killed at least 2,400 people. During the 1970s and 1980s, blood products supplied to the NHS were contaminated with viruses such as HIV or hepatitis C and infected thousands of people with haemophilia or other disorders. A report by lawmakers in 2015 said the Department of Health estimated that more than 30,000 people might have been infected with hepatitis C between 1970 and 1991 when Britain imported some blood products from the United States but just 6,000 had been identified. A further 1,500 were infected with HIV between 1978 and 1985

July 11, 2017
Reuters

Communicable diseases

Emerging infectious diseases, One Health and India

Communicable diseases

Researchers writing in the journal Nature analysed associations between 754 mammals and 586 viruses to understand what determines viral richness, diversity and zoonotic potential. Bats were found to harbour the highest numbers of zoonotic viruses and are also a major reservoir for coronaviruses. These include the SARS virus that emerged in China in 2002, spread to 27 countries and killed 774 people and the MERS coronavirus that caused 640 deaths. The transmission of infectious disease requires contact, the probability increasing with population density. With 1.34 billion people, 512 million livestock and 729 million poultry, the density and rates of human–animal, animal–animal and human–human contacts are high in India

July 15, 2017
The Hindu

Malaria drug protects foetal mice from Zika virus, NIH-funded study finds

Communicable diseases

Hydroxychloroquine, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat malaria and certain autoimmune diseases in pregnant women, appears to reduce transmission of Zika virus from pregnant mice to their fetuses, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. The drug works by inhibiting autophagy, a process by which cells remove toxins and recycle damaged components to generate energy. The researchers show that Zika virus may manipulate this process in the placenta to infect the developing fetus

July 10, 2017
National Institutes of Health

An outbreak of Ebola in the DRC has been contained. What went right this time?

Communicable diseases

The World Health Organisation recently declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Conversation explains how a multi-disciplinary team of health workers and administrative officers was dispatched and they put lessons learnt and best practice into action to contain the disease

July 12, 2017
The Conversation

Malaria genome study reveals savvy, finely tuned parasite

Communicable diseases

In a detailed study analysing more than half the genes in the genome of the parasite that cause malaria - Plasmodium - researchers found that two thirds of those genes are essential for survival. This is the largest proportion of essential genes found in any organism studied to date, they said. Importantly for researchers trying to develop vaccines and drugs against the disease, the scientists discovered that the parasite often disposes of genes that produce proteins that give its presence away to its host`s immune system. This allows malaria to swiftly change its appearance to the human immune system and hence build up resistance to a vaccine, posing problems for the development of effective shots

July 13, 2017
Reuters

Non communicable diseases

Cause of kidney disease in Narsinghpur still a mystery

Non communicable diseases

Since 2010, hundreds of people in Badamba and Narsighpur blocks have lost their lives due to kidney diseases while a thousand others are suffering from acute renal problem in the region, but the reason behind the outbreak of the disease still remains a mystery. Since 2013, over 900 kidney patients have been traced out in Narsinghpur alone. However, the administration is yet to do any survey to find out the exact number of patients suffering from kidney disease in the region

July 14, 2017
Times of India

Dementia and Alzheimer’s main cause of death for women, says Public Health England

Non communicable diseases

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the biggest cause of death among women, according to a government report on the state of the nation’s health. Women can expect to live nearly a quarter of their lives in ill-health and men a fifth. The causes of death have shifted since the turn of the century, with the rise in deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s the most significant features – alongside declines in other diseases

July 13, 2017
The Guardian

Inside Philip Morris’ campaign to subvert the global anti-smoking treaty

Non communicable diseases

The world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company is deploying its vast resources against international efforts to reduce smoking. Internal documents uncovered by Reuters reveal details of the secret operation. Reuters has found that Philip Morris International is running a secretive campaign to block or weaken treaty provisions that save millions of lives by curbing tobacco use. In an internal document, the company says it supported the enactment of the treaty. But Philip Morris has come to view it as a “regulatory runaway train” driven by “anti-tobacco extremists” – a description contained in the document

July 13, 2017
Reuters

America Has a $27 Billion Sepsis Crisis

Non communicable diseases

Sepsis is the top killer in U.S. hospitals, and the country has only recently begun to understand the scope of the problem. A new government report suggests that sepsis cases tripled in the decade from 2005 to 2014, causing 1.5 million hospital stays by the end of that period. That’s alarming, but it may be misleading, too. Experts who study sepsis say the apparent increase is actually a reflection of how doctors are getting better at identifying cases they used to miss

July 14, 2017
Bloomberg

Promoting health through the life course

Bangladesh cuts red tape to bring home girls sex trafficked to India

Promoting health through the life course

Mosharaf Hossain, head of the consular section of the Bangladesh High Commission, has sent about 438 Bangladeshi girls trafficked to India for the sex industry home, nearly half of them in the last six months and most from Maharashtra, India`s second most populous state and a major destination for trafficked girls. "The process has only got smoother now as High Commission officials are taking interest," said Jyoti Nale, programme director for Save the Children India, which works with the Maharashtra government to repatriate girls

July 13, 2017
Trust.org

Dominican vote opens door to possible easing of total abortion ban

Promoting health through the life course

Congress in the Dominican Republic rejected upholding the nation`s total ban on abortion, approving a step that would allow the procedure for ending life-threatening pregnancies and those resulting from rape or incest. The lawmakers in the lower house voted against a decision in May by the Dominican Senate, which turned down recommendations made by President Danilo Medina to amend the criminal code and ease the nation`s abortion ban

July 13, 2017
Trust.org

UN helps Syria`s women farmers by treating their livestock

Promoting health through the life course

More than a million sheep, goats and cows have been treated for parasites in Syria to help resurrect the country`s war-battered food production and shore up its female farmers, a U.N. agency said. The FAO said it had wrapped up a three-month, anti-parasite campaign, reaching 234,000 farmers in government and rebel-held areas in ten regions, including Homs, Aleppo and Hasakeh. The recipients were mostly women, who are traditionally responsible for livestock in rural Syria and who now make up more than 60 percent of the country`s agricultural workforce

July 14, 2017
Trust.org

Rains fail again in East Africa, hunger on the rise - U.N.

Promoting health through the life course

Rains have failed for a third consecutive season in East Africa, wilting crops, killing livestock and entrenching a long drought that has pushed millions into hunger, the United Nations said. Some 16 million people are in need of humanitarian aid across areas of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda - 30 percent more than in late 2016 and their number expected to increase in the coming months, the U.N. food agency said

July 14, 2017
Trust.org


"World Health Minute 10 July 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

276,000 potential cholera cases in Yemen, WHO reports

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The death toll continues to rise in Yemen, where a cholera outbreak has been spreading for months, according to the World Health Organization. There have been 275,987 suspected cholera cases and 1,634 deaths from the illness between April 27 and July 5. Children under the age of 15 make up 41% of these cases, and people older than 60 account for 33% of the deaths

July 6, 2017
CNN

Here’s What’s Causing India’s ‘Superbug’ Problem

Preparedness, surveillance and response

A 2016 study examined the evolution of resistant microbes in India and found that the over-prescribing and unregulated use of antibiotics, antibiotic use in agriculture and for livestock, and a lack of regulation of the discharge of antimicrobial waste into the environment all contribute to the superbug problem. In 2010 India consumed more antibiotics for human health per person than any other country. What’s more, the nation’s intake spiked by 62 percent from 2001 to 2010. There’s also conflict of interest: one study found doctors are compensated by pharmaceutical companies and pharmacists for prescribing antibiotics

July 6, 2017
Huffington Post

Cholera update: Nine die in West Darfur camp

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Nine people died of cholera in Murnei camp in West Darfur this week. Three people died in Kabkabiya on Wednesday. In Murnei, nine displaced people died, and at least seventeen others were infected with cholera, the head of the camp reported. One person died of cholera and four others were infected at Khazan Jadeed area in Shearia, East Darfur, on Wednesday. Omda Jaafar told Radio Dabanga that the medical isolation centre has seen eight patients die from cholera since the disease broke out in the area on 6 June. He said that so far there had been 102 cases of cholera

July 7, 2017
Dabanga Sudan

Swine flu evolves, Mumbai worried

Preparedness, surveillance and response

With 313 new swine flu cases reported in June, Mumbai has now joined the ranks of cities such as Pune and Nashik, who have been waging a battle against the viral infection since January 2017. “Swine flu is no longer confined to the known high-risk group of diabetics, pregnant women, children and the elderly,” says Dr Om Srivastava, an infectious diseases expert. “There’s a change in the pattern of symptoms, too,” he says. “In many recent cases, the lungs are not affected at all, or are the last to be affected. The patient deteriorates quickly after that,” he adds

July 7, 2017
DNA India

Health systems

Proper tools may help prevent medicine errors at home

Health systems

Providing parents with picture-based instructions - and with dosing tools that closely match the amount of medication needed - may help reduce cases of medication overdoses in children, researchers say. Poorly designed medication labels and dosing tools lead to dosing errors, especially when parents are given large cups for small doses, the study team writes

July 4, 2017
Reuters

Nigeria accounts for 2nd highest HIV/AIDS burden worldwide – NEPWAN

Health systems

The Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria says Nigeria accounts for second highest HIV/AIDS burden worldwide after South Africa. Nigerians that died due to the disease would not have died if the government had taken up ownership of the fight by ensuring availability and access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and support programme. The country’s HIV response was largely donor driven with about 93 per cent of HIV funding sourced from external sources, however, Nigeria only contributed seven per cent of the funding

July 3, 2017
Nigerian Observer

`Stem-cell tourism` needs tighter controls, say medical experts

Health systems

Stem-cell tourism involving patients who travel to developing countries for treatment with unproven and potentially risky therapies should be more tightly regulated, international health experts said. With hundreds of medical centers around the world claiming to be able to repair damaged tissue in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson`s disease, tackling unscrupulous advertising of such procedures is crucial

July 5, 2017
Reuters

The poison in your cabinet: Kenya’s fake drugs scourge

Health systems

Criminals are smuggling all manner of medicine, most of it fake, into Kenya, putting millions of people at a huge risk of poisoning. The global health entity estimates that about 100,000 deaths a year in Africa are linked to the counterfeit drug trade. The International Policy Network estimates that, globally, 700,000 deaths a year are caused by fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs

July 3, 2017
Daily Nation

Communicable diseases

Central labs moot ‘human first’ approach to test malaria vaccine

Communicable diseases

What if a potential vaccine for malaria was to be first tested in humans before mice and animals? This November, experts at the Indian Council of Medical Research and labs affiliated to the Department of Biotechnology will have a first-of-its kind “ethics meeting” to discuss the feasibility of conducting these so-called ‘human challenge’ trials in India. The meeting will also discuss testing two vaccine-candidates — one that causes falciparum malaria and the milder-but-more-prevalent vivax — developed at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

July 8, 2017
The Hindu

Undersea life holds promise for killing tuberculosis

Communicable diseases

The UCF team screened 4,400 chemical extracts derived from extracts of sponges and other marine organisms to see if they could kill the dormant tuberculosis bacteria. "To our knowledge this is the largest marine natural product screening on TB and the only one that focused on dormant bacteria," the team said. The team identified 26 compounds that were active against replicating tuberculosis bacteria, 19 killed dormant bacteria including seven that were active against both

July 6, 2017
Science Daily

New report reveals that countries are still not tackling tuberculosis

Communicable diseases

The third edition `Out of Step’ report published by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Stop TB has highlighted the need for governments to increase efforts to combat tuberculosis. India has not taken up this challenge and the molecular test is not the initial TB diagnostic test for adults and children being investigated for TB here, the Out of Step report has said. Smear microscopy is often used as the initial diagnostic test in the private sector, where up to 70% of people are treated - and delays in diagnosis and treatment initiation are common

July 5, 2017
Indian Express

Who proposes to change the composition of influenza vaccines

Communicable diseases

Existing vaccines are not the same antigenic properties of influenza viruses type A and B. The WHO recommends to completely change the composition of influenza vaccines for the Northern hemisphere. This decision is due to antigenic mismatch of vaccines and the viruses that cause epidemic

July 5, 2017
Mice Times of Asia

Non communicable diseases

Researchers discover atomic structure of suspect Alzheimer proteins

Non communicable diseases

Scientists have for the first time revealed the atomic structure of the tau protein filaments that tangle in the brains of Alzheimer`s patients and say it should point the way towards developing new treatments for the disease. Using a technique known as cryo-electron microscopy, a team from Britain`s Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology mapped in fine detail the tau filaments extracted from the brain of a patient who had died with Alzheimer`s

July 5, 2017
Reuters

Personalized vaccines hold cancer at bay in two early trials

Non communicable diseases

A novel class of personalized cancer vaccines, tailored to the tumours of individual patients, kept disease in check in two early-stage clinical trials, pointing to a new way to help the immune system fight back. Although so-called immunotherapy drugs from the likes of Merck and Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche are starting to revolutionize cancer care, they still only work for a limited number of patients. By adding a personalized cancer vaccine, scientists believe it should be possible to improve substantially the effectiveness of such immune-boosting medicines

July 5, 2017
Reuters

Resistance exercise may help stave off heart, diabetes risks

Non communicable diseases

Middle aged adults who do even a small amount of regular strength training exercise may be lowering their risk of so-called metabolic syndrome - itself a risk factor for both heart disease and diabetes, a recent study suggests. People with at least three unfavourable health stats from a list that includes large waist size, high blood pressure or triglycerides, high blood sugar or low “good” cholesterol are said to have metabolic syndrome, and are at increased risk of going on to develop diabetes, heart disease or both

July 6, 2017
Reuters

Scottish study strengthens link between high BMI, cardiometabolic disease risk

Non communicable diseases

New research adds to existing evidence that there’s an association between high body mass index and an increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases like hypertension, coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The study, published in JAMA Cardiology, was randomized using the mendelian method. Results showed that when adjusted for age, sex, alcohol intake and smoking history, higher BMI was linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, as well as increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure

July 7, 2017
Cardiovascular Business

Promoting health through the life course

Hunger rife among Rohingya children after Myanmar crackdown -WFP

Promoting health through the life course

More than 80,000 young children may need treatment for malnutrition in part of western Myanmar where the army cracked down on stateless Rohingya Muslims last year, the World Food Programme said. In the first detailed on-the-ground assessment of the community affected by the violence since October, the WFP interviewed 450 families in 45 villages in Maungdaw district in March and April. "The survey confirmed a worsening of the food security situation in already highly vulnerable areas (since October)," the agency said. About a third of those surveyed reported "extreme ...food insecurity" such as going a day and night without eating

July 5, 2017
Trust.org

In the U.S., infant mortality gap costs the lives of about 4,000 black babies each year

Promoting health through the life course

If black infants born in the United States had all of the health and medical benefits enjoyed by white infants, nearly 4,000 fewer of them would die each year, new research suggests. That would amount to a nearly 60% decrease in the number of black infants that die each year. Instead, black babies are nearly 2.5 times more likely than white babies to die during their first year of life

July 3, 2017
Los Angeles Times

Haryana looks at zero diarrhoea childhood deaths

Promoting health through the life course

According to National Family Health Survey-IV, at least 10 per cent of children below the age of five years in Haryana die of diarrhoea. The health officials noticed that the problem was more prevalent among underserved population, without access to clean drinking water and those who lived in unhygienic condition were found to be more vulnerable. For children under the age of five years, around 7.7 per cent of the children across state suffered from diarrhoea

July 3, 2017
Times of India

World hunger on the rise again due to conflict and climate - U.N.

Promoting health through the life course

The number of hungry people in the world is rising again after years of decline, as millions suffer from the combined effects of conflict and climate change, the head of the U.N. food agency said. "Preliminary data available for this year indicates that the number of undernourished people in the world has (started to) rise again," said Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Graziano da Silva said this year`s setback in the fight against hunger hardly came as a surprise, with almost 20 million people facing starvation because of fighting and drought in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen

July 3, 2017
Trust.org


"World Health Minute 29 June 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Yemeni PM declares state of emergency over cholera outbreak

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Bin Daghr has declared a state of emergency in health sectors in the provinces of Abyan, Aden, Lahij, Dhale, and Shabwah. He also urged the rapid reporting of cases. Bin Daghr asked local authority leaders to be highly prepared to monitor and control cholera cases in hospitals and health centers in these provinces. The UN agency added that the decline in cholera cases should still be taken under consideration, as 1,400 have died in two months with nearly 219,000 suspected cases

June 28, 2017
AlArabiya

Cholera outbreak kills 795 in Somalia since January

Preparedness, surveillance and response

An outbreak of cholera/acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in Somalia has killed 795 people since January, the UN humanitarian agency said. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that there was a 19-percent decrease in the number of new cases in the first week of June, which can be attributed to timely and effective intervention efforts over the past months. The UN also cites figures from the ministry of health of Somalia reported 1979 AWD/cholera cases and 13 deaths between June 12-18. "A cumulative total of 53,015 cases including 795 deaths have been reported since the cholera outbreak started in January 2017. The case-fatality rate of 1.5 percent remains above the emergency threshold of 1 percent," the UN said

June 28, 2017
xinhuanet

WHO hopes Yemeni cholera outbreak is half done at 218,000 cases

Preparedness, surveillance and response

A major cholera outbreak in Yemen may have reached the halfway mark at 218,798 cases as a massive emergency response has begun to curb its spread two months into the epidemic. Soon after the outbreak began, the WHO saw a risk that it could affect 300,000 people within six months. But it spread at double that speed, prompting a far-reaching emergency response that may have turned the corner as WHO says the strength of the response will make a difference

June 27, 2017
Reuters

Four H7N9 cases reported in SW China

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Southwest China`s Yunnan Province reported four cases of human infection of the H7N9 bird flu virus, local health authorities said. The cases were discovered in Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture. Of the four patients, one has fully recovered and three others are still in hospital for treatment, said a statement of the Yunnan provincial health and family planning commission

June 28, 2017
xinhuanet

Health systems

Fake Percocet overdoses sweep Georgia

Health systems

On Tuesday, June 27, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation classified a new fentanyl analogue as being resistant to the life-saving drugs, Narcan and Naloxone, that are a counteractant that revives patients after overdosing. The fatal form of fentanyl, known as acrylfentanyl, is so dangerous that it can kill someone by physical contact. It has not yet been confirmed by the GBI if the new acrylfentanyl is related to the mass overdose of counterfeit Percocet earlier this month

June 27, 2017
Red and Black

Unicef: Nurses’ strike will fuel more casualties in outbreaks

Health systems

The United Nations Children’s Fund has raised the alarm that the nurses’ strike, now in its 23rd day, will fuel more casualties in the disease outbreaks being reported in several parts of Kenya.The UN agency wrote that the strike has impeded response. In a periodical report on the health needs of Kenya, UNICEF listed the disease outbreaks: “There is an active cholera outbreak in five counties (Garissa, Nairobi, Murang’a, Turkana and Nakuru) with 581 confirmed cases and seven deaths”. This excludes the recent cholera outbreak in Nairobi’s Weston Hotel

June 27, 2017
Daily Nation

U.S. Malaria Donations Saved Almost 2 Million African Children

Health systems

Over the last decade, American donations to fight malaria in Africa have saved the lives of nearly two million children, according to a new analysis of mortality rates in 32 countries there. The study looked at the long-term effects of the President’s Malaria Initiative, a program started by President George W. Bush in 2005 that has spent over $500 million a year since 2010. The results debunk one of the persistent myths of foreign aid: that it has no effect because more children survive each year anyway as economies improve

June 26, 2017
New York Times

U.S. Republican healthcare bill imperilled with 22 million seen losing insurance

Health systems

Twenty-two million Americans would lose insurance over the next decade under the U.S. Senate Republican healthcare bill, a nonpartisan congressional office said, complicating the path forward for the already-fraught legislation. Moderate senators are concerned about millions of people losing insurance. Key conservative senators have said the Senate bill does not do enough to repeal Obamacare. The CBO assessment that an additional 15 million people would be uninsured in 2018 under the bill and its prediction that insurance premiums would skyrocket over the first two years prompted concern from both sides

June 27, 2017
Reuters

Communicable diseases

Kenyans are first in Africa to get generic of latest AIDS drug

Communicable diseases

The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said. Dolutegravir is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. ‘The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper,’ said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as ‘the most effective HIV treatment currently on the market’

June 28, 2017
Reuters

FG Declares Nigeria Meningitis Free

Communicable diseases

The Federal Government has officially declared Nigeria free from the latest ‘type c’ deadly Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) which has claimed thousands of lives since the outbreak in 2016. The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Oyewole disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council weekly meeting in Abuja. He said that there has been no polio case recorded for the year 2017 while cholera outbreak in Kwara State has fizzled out

June 28, 2017
ChannelsTV

Sun Pharma joins hands with NIV

Communicable diseases

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and National Institute of Virology (NIV) have signed a pact to test new medicines developed by the company to combat zika, chikungunya and dengue diseases. Sun Pharma will provide drug molecules to NIV for testing against zika, chikungunya and dengue in model systems. The new molecules could be based on phytopharmaceutical, biologic and chemical entities. Candidate molecules with encouraging data will then be taken forward for commercial development. NIC Director Devendra Mourya said that dengue and chikungunya are major public health problems in India like most of the tropical and subtropical countries

June 27, 2017
BioSpectrum Asia

Vaccination may be curbing ER visits for shingles

Communicable diseases

Emergency room visits for shingles fell in the past decade for people aged 60 and older but rose for most younger age groups. The decrease among older people may be due to more of them getting the shingles vaccine, U.S. researchers suggest. Anyone who has had chicken pox or the chicken pox vaccine can develop shingles, but the risk increases sharply after age 50 and vaccination against the shingles-causing virus is recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention starting at age 60

June 27, 2017
Reuters

Non communicable diseases

Family-led rehabilitation ineffective for stroke patients, says Lancet study

Non communicable diseases

Family-led rehabilitation is ineffective for stroke patients, a recent study has found. The study titled — ‘family-led rehabilitation after stroke in India’ — published in The Lancet is based on one of the largest stroke rehabilitation trials that was conducted at 14 centres across India, following up 1,250 stroke patients over six months

June 28, 2017
Hindustan Times

Fewer admissions for heart failure, but blacks still fare worse than whites

Non communicable diseases

Between 2002 and 2013, hospital admissions for heart failure fell by nearly a third in the U.S., but blacks are still more than twice as likely as whites to be hospitalized for the condition, researchers say. “These findings are impressive and suggest that efforts to prevent heart failure and improve the outpatient treatment of heart failure have had overall success in reducing the number of heart failure patients needing hospitalizations,” senior study author Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow said. “However, the improvements were not equally distributed across race/ethnicities and genders, and additional efforts are needed.”

June 27, 2017
Reuters

Preventable Deaths Surge in the U.S.

Non communicable diseases

More than 130,000 Americans are killed annually by preventable causes, and the number has been climbing at a faster rate recently because of opioid abuse and car crashes involving drivers distracted by mobile devices. The death count jumped more than 7 percent in 2015 to about 146,600, according to a report by the National Safety Council. Vehicle mishaps and poisonings, driven by opioid abuse, killed more than 80,000 people combined in 2015. Preventable accidents cost society about $850 billion a year, according to the group

June 27, 2017
Bloomberg

High NCD concerns among children

Non communicable diseases

A high number of students are suffering from Non-Communicable Diseases forcing stakeholders of the education system to rethink the delivery of its physical education programs. Speaking at a workshop on Quality Physical Education today, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Dr Mahendra Reddy said stakeholders needed to place children at the centre of learning. “Our children all over the world are falling prey to junk food and poor eating and lifestyle habits which are affecting their growth and development," he was quoted saying in a Government statement

June 28, 2017
Fiji Times

Promoting health through the life course

California to list herbicide as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight

Promoting health through the life course

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto`s Roundup weed killer, will be added to California`s list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state`s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment said. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation and called the decision "unwarranted on the basis of science and the law." The listing is the latest legal setback for the company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization`s International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015

June 27, 2017
Reuters

French ethics panel backs lesbian procreation help

Promoting health through the life course

Campaigners for lesbian motherhood got a significant boost in France on Tuesday when a panel of ethics specialists said that female couples and single women should be granted access to sperm-donor techniques of medically assisted reproduction. The recommendation from the National Consultative Committee on Ethics (CCNE) comes two months after President Emmanuel Macron promised to legislate on access to medically assisted procreation for lesbians if elected

June 27, 2017
Reuters

Tap water dwindles as cities parched by South India drought

Promoting health through the life course

One of southern India`s worst droughts in decades has dried up reservoirs in the region, severely impacting the availability of drinking water in Chennai and other cities. Water supplies across the port city of Chennai have dropped by half, with the government saying tap water may dwindle to a trickle in the days to come. "We are supplying between 450 to 470 million litres of water every day," compared to the normal requirement of 830 million litres, said Arun Roy, of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board that supplies water across the city

June 28, 2017
Trust.org

How investing in poor children saves lives and boosts the economy

Promoting health through the life course

UNICEF is launching a compelling report, Narrowing the Gaps: The power of investing in the poorest children, showing that investments in the most deprived children and communities provide greater value for money. The study indicates that every $1 million invested in the poorest children saves nearly twice as many lives as the same investments that do not reach the poor. These findings have important implications, also in Kenya, especially as the Government works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Kenya’s Vision 2030. The SDG child mortality target aims to end all preventable new born and child deaths by 2030. This universal goal demands urgent action to reach the still unreached children, families and communities

June 28, 2017
Standard Media


"World Health Minute 27 June 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Dengue cases up in Zamboanga City

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Zamboanga City health officials are reporting an increase in dengue fever cases prompting them to warn of an imminent outbreak. Based on data from the City Health Office, dengue cases for the months of April and May were significantly higher, registering 130 and 188 cases, respectively, as opposed to 97 and 127 cases reported last year for the same time period. Most cases are reported in children

June 23, 2017
Outbreak News Today

Dengue cases in Bengaluru shoot up by nearly 1,000 over a month

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Dengue cases increased from 541 in the first week of May to 1,425 till Thursday. Chikungunya saw a spike from 132 in the first week of May to 284 till Thursday. As many as 21 fresh cases of chikungunya were confirmed on Thursday. The silver lining is the fact that there have been no deaths in the state so far

June 23, 2017
New Indian Express

Outbreak hits 24 at Kampong Speu prison

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Twenty-four inmates in Kampong Speu’s provincial prison – where five prisoners escaped earlier this week – are reportedly experiencing a combination of respiratory difficulties, coughing, skin rashes and swollen legs. Visiting the prison after the escape, Licadho Provincial Coordinator Ung Somith observed inmates suffering from a variety of ailments, which he described as “swollen legs, lung sickness, cough and skin diseases”. Somith said he could not determine whether the prisoners had tuberculosis but that inmates had trouble breathing

June 23, 2017
Phnom Penh Post

Cholera cases in North Darfur, Khartoum, eastern Sudan

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The cholera epidemic that has claimed hundreds of lives throughout Sudan`s Nile valley has now spread to North Darfur. Nine people have reportedly died and about 82 others have been infected with cholera over the last four days at camp Naivasha in Shangil Tobaya locality, North Darfur. The former director of Nahar Medical and Health Organisation working in the area, Abdallah Rasheed, reported that on Wednesday, 47 patients, including four children, were suffering from acute watery diarrhoea and vomiting - characteristic symptoms of cholera

June 23, 2017
Dabanga

Health systems

Solar energy powers clean water, business opportunities for refugees

Health systems

As part of a broader initiative to help refugees access clean energy and sanitation, Water Mission is installing solar-powered water treatment facility in three refugee camps in western Tanzania. The $5.3 million project, funded by the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, is expected to provide safe water for some 250,000 refugees in Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli camps. According to Water Mission, the Tanzania project aims to pump 100 percent of the water using solar power, with diesel generators as back up. A recent shipment of 780 solar panels to Tanzania will produce 226,000 watts of power and provide a continuous supply of safe water to keep children in good health, it said

June 23, 2017
Reuters

Central African Republic health plan threatened by violence - WHO

Health systems

As displaced people return to their homes in the capital of war-torn Central African Republic, they will need medical services but renewed violence threatens an already wounded healthcare system, the World Health Organization`s Africa director said. After more than four years of violence that have caused "extensive degradation" of health services, Central African Republic`s new national plan aims to re-establish public health systems and infrastructure, the WHO said

June 23, 2017
Reuters

Once again, 13 men wrote a bill that’s bad for women’s health

Health systems

Childbirth in the US is already dangerous, but the Senate health bill would make it worse. Medicaid is incredibly important for reproductive health as it pays for half of all births, including two-thirds of unplanned births. It will be cut severely, and Planned Parenthood funding will stop as it becomes a prohibited entity. It will be harder for women to access abortions and health care in other insurance-related ways as restrictions to access are tightened. It makes essential health benefits optional

June 23, 2017
Vox

Broke on Eid: Dengue workers awaiting salaries as season approaches

Health systems

Eidul-Fitr is around the corner and around 3,000 people who work as dengue workers and vaccinators in the city haven’t been paid yet. Around 400 workers, associated with the Shalamar Union Council, are also waiting to be made permanent by the health department since 2011. Almost every year, the workers are told by the health department their employment would be regularised by the next dengue season. The health department spokesperson said ‘instead of pressuring the health department, they should wait their turns to receive appointment letters’

June 22, 2017
The Express Tribune

Communicable diseases

`Remarkable` drop in new HIV cases among men

Communicable diseases

For the first time, new diagnoses of HIV have fallen among men who have sex with men in England, according to data from Public Health England. They have decreased from 2,060 in 2014-15 to 1,700 in 2015-16, while in London there was an even steeper drop. PHE said increased testing, fast treatment with HIV therapy and the use of preventative drug Prep have all contributed to the trend

June 22, 2017
BBC

Malnutrition, lack of hygiene add to Tuberculosis risk

Communicable diseases

Tuberculosis spreads faster in packed settings and the transmission of the disease is high in large crowds if a person infected with TB is a part of it. The burden of TB in India is 2.2 million which is the largest and its spread has to be controlled to tackle the disease. The Indian Council of Medical Research is looking at these aspects at the ground level as reports show that the disease burden continues to be high, despite various interventions by the government to control it. Congregate settings have been known to be a high risk environment for TB due to overcrowding, poor levels of nutrition and lack of hygienic conditions in their work environment. These factors add to the spread of the disease and tackling them by identifying the people early will help, experts say

June 25, 2017
Deccan Chronicle

Combating HIV/AIDS: Mildmay Uganda launches 30 year master plan

Communicable diseases

Mildmay Uganda says all children born at their facility in 2014 by HIV positive mothers have remained HIV negative. The Executive Director of Mildmay Uganda, Dr. Babara Mukasa made the comments as Mildmay Uganda launched a 30 year master plan that will see it transformed into a modern teaching hospital. In 1998, Mildmay Uganda began comprehensive HIV care with just over 3000 children waiting for the life-saving drugs through PEPFAR in 2004. Now, Mildmay Uganda supports care for over 100,000 with 7,000 of them children

June 25, 2017
ntv.co.ug

Govt lacks tools to stem virus infection cases: Health officials

Communicable diseases

At a time when viruses like the H1N1, malaria, influenza and dengue are on the rise, the Mumbai government is lacking the tools to combat them and is yet to design a vaccination plan to fight them. Health officials have also said that there is no proper awareness campaign in place either to educate people about the spread and effect of these deadly viruses, which is on the rise in the city due to temperature fluctuations brought by intermittent rainfall. Officials said viral infections have claimed nearly 2,500 lives in the state, most as a result of dengue and malaria. Viral infections are now proliferating in addition to tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS in the state’s list of top contagious killer diseases, they added

June 25, 2017
Asian Age

Non communicable diseases

Novo Nordisk says obesity drug helps up to 13.8 percent weight loss in phase 2 trial

Non communicable diseases

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk said a phase 2 trial for its big hope in tackling obesity, an improved GLP-1 drug called semaglutide, showed a weight loss of up to 13.8 percent in people with severe conditions. The clinical trial, which lasted a year and included 957 people, resulted in a weight loss up to 17.8 kg after 52 weeks of treatment with semaglutide from a mean baseline weight of around 111 kg and a body mass index of around 39, Novo said. That corresponded to an estimated weight loss of 13.8 percent compared to the 2.3 percent achieved by diet, exercise and placebo alone

June 23, 2017
Reuters

A peek into Bloomberg`s new public health initiative

Non communicable diseases

A total of 46 out of a goal of 50 cities have signed up to date to be part of “Partnership for Healthy Cities,” Bloomberg Philanthropies’ latest initiative launched just before the 70th World Health Assembly. The program will see the foundation investing up to $100,000 per partner city to help them in their efforts to implement one of 10 proven interventions in NCD and injury prevention. For the next 18 months, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies, will be working with cities across the globe to tackle the different factors contributing to non-communicable diseases

June 23, 2017
Devex

New ethical lapses alleged in controversial India cervical cancer screening trial

Non communicable diseases

A long-debated study aimed at validating a low-cost way to screen for cervical cancer in India has come under fire again, based on new evidence of ethical lapses contained in documents obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Critics of the 18-year trial said that U.S.-funded Indian researchers used ineffective screening that endangered thousands of poor women in Mumbai. They were told the test could help prevent cancer, but far fewer pre-cancerous lesions were found than expected, suggesting that some lesions were missed — possibly leading to an unknown number of deaths. The trial should have been stopped years earlier for another reason, critics said: Other research had already shown that the screening method worked when properly applied, making it unethical to use an unscreened control group

June 23, 2017
statnews.com

More blood but no victory as Philippine drug war marks its first year

Non communicable diseases

President Rodrigo Duterte`s brutal war on drugs has resulted in thousands of deaths, yet the street price of crystal methamphetamine in Manila has fallen and surveys show Filipinos are as anxious as ever about crime. Most victims of Duterte’s war are small-time users and dealers, while the masterminds behind the lucrative drug trade are largely unknown and at large, say critics of Duterte`s ruthless methods. If the strategy was working the laws of economics suggest the price of crystal meth should be rising as less supply hits the streets. But the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency`s own data suggests it has become even cheaper in Manila

June 25, 2017
trust.org

Promoting health through the life course

The enemy within: as FARC rebels disarm, what peace for Colombia`s women?

Promoting health through the life course

One woman is killed every four days in Colombia. Many are victims of femicide - a killing of a woman by a man because of her gender - often at the hands of a former or current partner. Tackling violence against women is a key challenge for Colombia as the nation puts behind it 52 years of war that has killed 200,000 people and displaced 7 million. The FARC peace deal is an opportunity for the government to focus more attention and resources on combating gender violence, and for the domestic violence problem to become more visible

June 23, 2017
Trust.org

Chained to health ministry, Peruvians protest mining pollution

Promoting health through the life course

Parents of sick children who live near one of Peru`s oldest mining pits camped out in front of the health ministry in Lima for an eighth day on Thursday, demanding help to deal with the impact of decades of mining pollution. Dozens of residents of Simon Bolivar, a district in the city of Cerro de Pasco in the Peruvian Andes, travelled to Lima to press the government to declare a health emergency and build a regional hospital specializing in exposure to heavy metals. More than 40 percent of the area`s children who were tested in a 2012 study had dangerously high levels of lead in their blood, according to a screening of some 2,700 children by regional health authorities

June 23, 2017
Reuters

Feeling sick at home? The wallpaper in your room might be the reason

Promoting health through the life course

Toxins produced by fungus growing on the wallpapers in our home can contaminate the air and be easily inhaled, leading to "sick building syndrome," a new study has found. Mycotoxins can be inhaled and should be investigated as parameters of indoor air quality, especially in homes with visible fungal contamination. The impetus for the study was the dearth of data on the health risk from mycotoxins produced by fungi growing indoors

June 24, 2017
Economic Times

Tens of thousands have fled violence in Congo Republic

Promoting health through the life course

More than 80,000 people have fled their homes in Pool province surrounding Congo Republic`s capital since the government began a military operation there last year, a joint U.N. and government statement said. The United Nations is seeking around $20 million in emergency funding to provide humanitarian assistance in the province, after a recent visit found widespread signs malnutrition, the statement said. Many of the displaced remain beyond the reach of aid workers, it added

June 24, 2017
Trust.org


"World Health Minute 22 June 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

A bird flu pandemic looms but the US is holding back the fight

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Just two mutations could turn H7N9 flu into a deadly airborne strain, but restrictions meant to protect us from a possible pandemic are making it harder to combat the next one. This year, H7N9 in China acquired a mutation that makes it kill birds, and possibly people, faster. “Without animal infection studies, we can only speculate what might happen,” says Paulson. “Biology is complex, so we can predict that one set of mutations will influence transmission, but it is only that, a prediction.” But neither Paulson nor Fouchier are allowed to make viruses with these mutations. After Fouchier created transmissible H5N1, a regulatory committee in the US tried to stop the work being published, saying terrorists could use it to create a lethal pandemic. There were also fears that other labs would try to copy the work without sufficient containment, and a dangerous virus might then escape. The H5N1 work was finally published, but the US halted Gain-of-Function (GOF) research for flu viruses, and for SARS and MERS

June 20, 2017
New Scientist

488 malaria cases in 17 days of June

Preparedness, surveillance and response

At a time when the civic body and the state government have intensified their efforts to destroy mosquito breeding sites and curb spread of vector-borne infections, malaria cases appear to be on the rise. According to data of the civic body, Ahmedabad registered 488 cases of malaria in the first 17 days of June. AMC health officials have also confirmed that they have received complaints of polluted water supply from at least 10 areas in the city. The weekly health report of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) states that six more cases of vector-borne infections including four cases of dengue and one each of chikungunya and falciparum malaria were also registered during this period

June 20, 2017
Times of India

Robust Emergency Fund Needed to Respond to Future Disease Outbreaks

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Creating a similar “rainy day” fund—and providing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with permission to use it in advance—could save lives and money, both at home and overseas. There have been some moves in this direction. President Donald Trump`s general budget proposal for 2018 includes such a fund. But it does not give any dollar figures, and the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives in May cuts at least $1 billion from annual public health funding

June 20, 2017
Scientific American

WHO says child from Raqqa among 15 new polio cases in Syria

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Seventeen children have been paralysed by polio following an outbreak of the disease in Syria that the World Health Organization says is "very serious". Earlier this month, the agency reported two polio cases in the Mayadin area of Deir al-Zour province, much of which is controlled by so-called Islamic State. Fourteen new cases have now been confirmed in the same area, while another was recorded in Raqqa province. It is the first re-emergence of polio in the war-torn country since 2014

June 20, 2017
Reuters

Health systems

China cracks down on fake peer reviews

Health systems

The Chinese government is going on the offensive against scientists who dupe journals by creating fraudulent reviews of submitted papers. A coalition of agencies led by the science ministry announced on 14 June that the government would suspend the grants of researchers involved in such fraud, which surfaced earlier this year when a cancer journal retracted 107 research papers from Chinese authors. And funding agencies in China promised to increase policing of the scientific community to prevent similar deceptions

June 20, 2017
Nature

Interview: From Hong Kong to world stage - WHO chief Margaret Chan`s endeavor to safeguard public health

Health systems

Xinhua interviews director-general of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan who expressed pride in her time at the helm of the world’s ‘doctor’ as she outlined how WHO and its partner organizations have made progress in improving people’s health and life expectancy during the 10 years she has been in charge

June 20, 2017
Xinhuanet

How to reduce maternal deaths in the worst counties to give birth in

Health systems

A prioritised set of interventions is to be applied over the next five years in Kenya. The implementation of a framework which would help achieve targets by improving coverage for key indicators. These include increasing skilled deliveries by 87 per cent, antenatal care by 69 per cent, full immunization to 76 per cent, contraceptive use to 73 per cent and pregnant women tested for HIV and post-test counselling to 75 per cent, all by 2020. Experts projected that following this, the absolute number of maternal deaths would reduce from 5,453 in 2014/15 to 3,276. To achieve these goals, the framework suggested key strategies that needed increased investments, including addressing disparities and increasing coverage through prioritising underserved counties and marginalized populations

June 20, 2017
The Star

Worldwide drug sale forecasts fall as pricing pressures mount

Health systems

Forecasts for global sales of pharmaceuticals have declined for the first time in a decade as continuing pressure on prices in the key U.S. market has caused analysts to moderate revenue expectations. Evaluate Pharma, which compiles consensus numbers based on analysts` forecasts, said worldwide drug sales were now expected to hit $1.06 trillion in 2022, down from $1.12 trillion predicted a year ago for the same period. It is the first time in 10 years that total drug sales have failed to beat the previous year`s forecast level

June 20, 2017
Reuters

Communicable diseases

Researchers develop new concept to predict universal anti-influenza drugs

Communicable diseases

University of Hertfordshire researchers have developed a new concept which could lead to the discovery of universal anti-influenza drugs. To predict the drugs, researchers first characterised the drug target – the viral PB2 protein required for the virus to become infectious – by analysing 12,000 sequences to assess its variability and identify constant regions. Secondly, they computationally scanned the PB2 protein surface for binding sites and then screened more than 40,000 molecules for binding. They also screened 1738 small molecule drugs which have been approved for humans and predicted that the antipsychotic paliperidone binds to the influenza PB2 protein. The results of this work enables laboratory-based virologists to test these computationally predicted drugs, in order to take the research onto the next stage

June 19, 2017
Medical Express

More U.S. counties are finding mosquitoes that can spread Zika

Communicable diseases

With the summer mosquito season in full swing in many states, a new report shows a significant increase in U.S. counties across the South that have reported mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika and related viruses. Two types of mosquitoes are the primary transmitters of Zika, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses. Based on updated data collected through 2016, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 38 additional counties — primarily in Texas but as far north as Illinois — documented the presence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, Zika`s main vector. That`s an increase of 21 percent compared with an earlier 2016 survey

June 20, 2017
Washington Post

Moving Mountains: A Surgeon’s Fight to Legalize HIV-to-HIV Organ Transplants

Communicable diseases

An interview with Peter Stock MD, a transplant surgeon at UC San Francisco whose research has formed the core of the campaign to lift the HIV-to-HIV organ transplantation ban which were, until recently, illegal under state laws which were written at the height of the AIDS scare in the 1980s. Those bans were repealed thanks in part to ground breaking research by Stock that showed that transplants in HIV patients could be done safely and effectively

June 20, 2017
University of California San Francisco

FDA approves new antibiotic to treat serious skin infections

Communicable diseases

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for patients with acute bacterial skin infections, made by privately held Melinta Therapeutics. The drug, Baxdela, or delafloxacin, is designed to treat skin and skin structure infections caused by a range of bacteria, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA

June 19, 2017
Reuters

Non communicable diseases

Anti-PCSK9 vaccine lowers cholesterol, atherosclerosis in mice

Non communicable diseases

A study published in the European Heart Journal concludes that it may be possible to immunize people against developing high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of the arteries. The vaccine, AT04A, consists of a molecule that prompts the body to produce antibodies against the enzyme. Once PCSK9 is inhibited, the body is able to properly clear LDL cholesterol. When the vaccine was injected in mice that were fed fatty food to induce high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, their total cholesterol fell 53%. Damage to blood vessels fell 64%, while blood vessel inflammation decreased by at least 21%, the scientists said

June 19, 2017
Fiercebiotech

Public ignorant about Noncommunicable diseases, says minister

Non communicable diseases

Health Minister Dr. Jane Aceng has called for sensitization of the public about non-communicable diseases. Speaking during an alignment meeting in Kampala, Aceng said there is an increase of NCDs, adding that about 97% of the population do not know about these diseases. She added that a recent study on NCDs shows that heart diseases are on the rise, hypertension at 10% and diabetes at 3%. Aceng said in the cost effective management of diseases, emphasis should be placed on ability to detect them as early as possible

June 19, 2017
New Vision

Global diabetes jumped 40% in the last two years, report says

Non communicable diseases

Aetna International released “Diabetes: The world’s weightiest health challenge,” that found that diabetes has nearly doubled around the world since 2014-2016 with a 69% increase in North and South America last year alone. However, the Middle East and Africa were among the hardest hit, having the highest rate of diabetes over the last two years—that were twice the size of Europe and the Americas—and triple of Southeast Asia. Stella George, M.D. and senior medical director at Aetna International, who co-authored the report says the disease has the power to destroy “economies” if we don’t try to stop it now

June 19, 2017
Fox Business

Occasional smokers who vape smoke more cigarettes

Non communicable diseases

Tobacco companies have been selling electronic cigarettes as a way to wean smokers off paper cigarettes, but a new study suggests the strategy could backfire. The report in Preventive Medicine found that young adults who occasionally smoked conventional cigarettes smoked more of them if they also used e-cigarettes. “The participants who were vaping ended up using more cigarettes. It’s actually a risk factor for increasing their cigarette use,” lead author Neal Doran said

June 19, 2017
Reuters

Promoting health through the life course

NGO to launch water initiative in Kibera

Promoting health through the life course

A Non-Governmental Organization is set to embark on a sustainable water project that is expected to transform Kibera and vastly improve the quality of life of residents there. According to the Nourafchan Foundation (TNF) the initiative will be commissioned during its inaugural community celebration, with this year’s theme titled ‘The Big Splash’. “Until recently Kibera’s only source was the Nairobi dam whose unsanitary waters are rife with infections like typhoid and cholera,” the NGO said

June 20, 2017
CapitalFM Kenya

India submits report on sustainable development goals to UN

Promoting health through the life course

The review is centred around the goals of ending poverty and hunger, and ensuring healthy lives, besides achieving gender equality, building resilient infrastructure, etc. On ending poverty in all its forms, it said there was compelling evidence that the rapid growth India has achieved following the economic reforms in 1991 had led to significant reduction in poverty. The report cited Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to emphasise that over two billion person-days of employment were generated during 2016-17 alone, largely for the disadvantaged sections of society

June 20, 2017
Business Standard

CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna on gene editing’s potential for good and evil

Promoting health through the life course

CRISPR gives scientists the power to radically and irreversibly alter the biosphere by providing a way to rewrite the very molecules of life any way we wish. There needs to be more discussions of the possibilities it presents for good and for ill. However, even though it is still a thrilling moment for life sciences, we all have a responsibility to consider any ramifications in advance and engage in an inclusive conversation about how to harness gene editing in a natural world context

June 20, 2017
Fast Company

Caring like a kangaroo: India can cut neonatal death toll, world’s highest

Promoting health through the life course

Although the rate of neonatal mortality in India has declined from 52 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 28 in 2013, the rate of decline has been slower than that of infant and under-five mortality. One of the best low-cost interventions that can save lives with babies younger than four weeks who die every year is regular skin contact, like kangaroo mothers – an expert said

June 20, 2017
Hindustan Times


"World Health Minute 20 June 2017"

Preparedness, surveillance and response

15 swine flu deaths, 63 positive cases this year

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Though the numbers of deaths and positive cases have declined lately, swine flu continues to make its presence felt in Nagpur. As per the data of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation, 15 deaths and 63 positive cases have been recorded since April this year. It means 2017-18 financial year has recorded the third highest number of deaths due to swine flu

June 18, 2017
The Times of india

IMA chief wants pregnant women be tested for Zika

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for screening of all pregnant women for Zika virus as a precautionary and vigilance measure against the disease. Dr Agrawal says that the very presence of the virus, even in three cases, proves that the virus is there in India and must be a cause of concern for all the health authorities. "Epidemiology says that for every single positive case, there are 200 subclinical cases that are not reported”

June 18, 2017
The Times of India

Cholera toll in Yemen reaches 1,054

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The World Health Organisation announced that the toll in the cholera outbreak in Yemen has reached 1,054, with the total suspected cases reaching 151,000. The outbreak has spread fast in 20 out of 22 Yemeni governorates in just seven weeks, since April 27, Xinhua news agency reported. Last month, the WHO said the number of suspected cases could reach 300,000 in the next six months

June 18, 2017
Odisha Sun Times

China reports additional H7N9 avian flu, Health officials meet in Hong Kong

Preparedness, surveillance and response

The China National Health and Family Planning Commission reported an additional five human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including one death during the week of Jun. 9 through 15. The four male patients and one female, who came from Beijing, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan and Zhejiang and were aged from 41 to 68, had onset from April 25 to June 6. Among them, three were known to have exposure to poultry or poultry markets

June 18, 2017
Outbreak News Today

Health systems

Nigeria: `Nigeria Loses 3,000 Women, Children to Preventable Diseases Daily`

Health systems

Nigeria loses 3,000 children and women daily to preventable diseases due to poor access to basic healthcare, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib has said. Speaking at a workshop on the Implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy, Mr. Shuaib said "Primary Healthcare remains the foundation for reasonable and sustainable changes to the poor health indicators in the sector, since it deals with these preventable diseases"

June 16, 2017
Premium Times Nigeria

WHO Starts Work On Essential List Of Diagnostics To Facilitate Access, Lower Prices

Health systems

The World Health Organization announced that it has begun work on a list of essential diagnostics, as an echo of its Model List of Essential Medicines. According to a WHO release, the Essential Diagnostics List is indented to provide “evidence-based guidance to countries to create their own national lists of essential diagnostic tests and tools.” The Model List of Essential Medicines serves as a model for the diagnostic list, and the list “should be instrumental in developing medical guidelines as well as laboratory-accreditation schemes”

June 16, 2017
IP-Watch.org

Uganda: Masaka Health Centres Run Out of Anti-Malaria Drugs

Health systems

An anti-malaria drug stock-out has hit several health centers in Masaka district leaving several patients stranded. Health workers say they haven`t had artesunate, injectable quinine and IV water (drips) for the last two weeks. The drug stock-out comes at a time when NMS and the Finance ministry are feuding over the whereabouts of part of the $200 million acquired by government from the Preferential Trade Area (PTA Bank) for procurement of drugs

June 16, 2017
Observer Uganda

Uganda`s plan to send 1,000 medical workers to Libya criticised by activists

Health systems

Uganda is planning to send about 1,000 medical workers to Libya, an official said, a plan criticised by health activists who believe it would further weaken the country`s struggling health care system. Over the last decade, foreign recruiters and employers from the Middle East have increasingly turned to the east African nation for cheap labour. "If they finish safety assessment work today or tomorrow, then we`ll be ready to send these people," an official said, adding they would include a mix of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel

June 16, 2017
Reuters

Communicable diseases

Delay in `Made in India` chikungunya vaccine, researchers seek government intervention

Communicable diseases

India offers a rare ray of hope for an indigenously-made vaccine against chikungunya, but delay in finding volunteers is impeding its development. With chikungunya spreading very fast in the country, researchers are seeking urgent government intervention for speedy completion of the vital clinical trials. For the first time, an indigenously-developed vaccine against chikungunya has been developed and the first human trials are underway albeit on a slow pace. The novel vaccine candidate against chikungunya crossed a big hurdle last year when Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based vaccine pioneer, got permission to start human trials and the first human subjects received the vaccine a few months ago

June 18, 2017
New Indian Express