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Section analysis

Communicable diseases

Risk of mass starvation rising rapidly in Africa and Yemen - UNHCR

The UNHCR said it was raising its alarm level over the risk of 20 million people in East Africa facing famine higher than it was in February, when the call for international aid began. In South Sudan a further 1 million are on the brink of famine. Acute malnutrition rates are already very high, if you don’t help with worsening nutrition rates people die. In some places like north eastern Nigeria aid workers previously had zero access, due to Boko Haram militants. Now access is opening up and aid workers are going in they are discovering more need of an extreme nature and the risk of famine is rising further still

April 11, 2017
Trust.org

Latin America needs to climate proof infrastructure

The World Bank reported that Latin America has to climate change proof its infrastructure so it can manage melting glaciers, intense storms and other climate-related shocks. Better infrastructure can help reduce inequality and lift people out of poverty and promote development, the World Bank said in a new report

April 10, 2017
Reuters, NBC News

Resistance to antibiotic of last resort found in human pathogens infecting dogs

A team of Spanish investigators has identified examples of tigecycline-resistant bacteria (an antibiotic of last resort) living on dogs. This raises the probability that such bacteria are being repeatedly introduced into hospitals. The bacteria harbouring the resistance are Klebsiella pneumoniae which are frequently associated with hospital-acquired pneumonia, bloodstream infections and meningitis. These particular k. pneumoniae could well have been disseminated to hospitals worldwide. So the antibiotic of last resort for complicated infections in humans may be more complicated as pathogens could be resistant to last resort antibiotics

April 11, 2017
Medical News Today

Swine flu scare in the summer? Researchers discover new strain in India as H1N1 cases continue t...

Researchers from the National Institute of Virology in Pune identified a new strain of swine flu which has been circulating in India since September 2016, called the Michigan strain. This strain was identified in Hyderabad and other parts of India. The ICMR says they will be recommending new vaccine for this flu season as the existing flu vaccine may be ineffective against the new strain. At the same time, a prevalence of swine flu during India’s summer is also a cause of concern as the virus may be becoming increasingly tolerant to heat, ICMR says it is monitoring the situation closely. So far, more than 5,000 people have tested positive for swine flu infection and over 100 people have died this year across India

April 11, 2017
zeenews

Polio in Afghanistan 'Americans bomb our children daily, why would they care?'

After being denied access by the Taliban for 15 months, health workers resumed a vaccination campaign agaianst polio in parts of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. Days before the Taliban allowed vaccinators access, a 14-month old girl in Kunduz was found to have been paralysed by polio. Until the inoculation was blocked the disease had been all but eradicated in Afghanistan

April 10, 2017
Guardian, El Diario

Crookery of clinical trials

A long-drawn out battle over collusion between the Indian Health Ministry and international non-governmental organizations to test experimental drugs on Indian landed on a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court. It is alleged that among all the clinical trials conducted between 2005 and 2012 nearly 2,800 patients may well have died in India.  P parliamentary panel pointed to gross ethical violations be all parties behind the trials. However, because of a legal hurdle this report could not be considered. Now these allegations are in the Supreme Court’s hands the evidence can soon begin to be considered

April 8, 2017
The Hindu

Bush steps back into the spotlight to help Africa fight epidemics

As the U.S. Congress headed for a bruising showdown over international aid budget funding later this month, former President George W. Bush flew to Africa to publicize a $6.8bn HIV Aids assistance programme that has done much to rehabilitate the continent’s future. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or Pepfar, which he established in 2004, has saved millions of lives he argued and the investment is in the U.S.’s own national interest

April 8, 2017
New York Times
April 7, 2017
Washington Post
April 8, 2017
The Hill

Volcanic Minerals, Not Worms, Caused Disease Outbreak in Uganda

The New York Times recounts a WHO investigation into what was initially thought of as an outbreak of crippling elephantiasis. After extensive tests the teams eliminated this tropical disease and concluded they were on to something even rarer than this disease caused by worms. The victims has podoconiosis, a disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soils, which contain sharp, alkaline mineral crystals that work their way under the skin, causing fierce itching and then are attacked by white blood cells, triggering inflammation that can develop into weeping sores and fibrous tissue

April 10, 2017
New York Times

Fast food health risks are rapidly rising in Asia - according to new Philippine study

As Asia Pacific opens up more to international trade it also gets a flood of ultra-processed food and drinks which means young people in the region are at a greater risk of acquiring non-communicable diseases from consuming fast food. Researchers said in China expenditure of fast food has increased 18-fold since 1999 and now the Coca-Cola Company has around 18% of its total global sales from the Asia Pacific region

April 11, 2017
Manila Times

Two billion people drinking contaminated water: WHO

Maria Neira, head of WHO’s public health department, said “today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.” Hundreds of thousands of people die each year from drinking contaminated water. WHO is urging the international community to invest to provide universal access to safe drinking water

April 13, 2017
New Vision
April 14, 2017
The Nation, Hindustan Times
April 15, 2017
Sunday Times

Japan's Bid to Stop 'Death by Overwork' Seen Falling Short

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe promised to change the way Japan works, including cutting the notoriously long hours that can lead to illness and death (karoshi). A plan expected to become law does not go far enough, according to economists. Work issues were a contributing factor in more than 2,000 suicides in 2015, according to a labour ministry white paper. Currently, overtime limits can be waived by mutual consent between employer and worker

April 13, 2017
Bloomberg

Scientists close in on vaccine for Chagas disease

A team of scientists has taken a step close to developing a vaccine for the potentially life-threatening Chagas disease, transmitted by so-called kissing bugs which has infected millions in Latin America. A molecule engineered to contain three antigens has been shown to reduce the number of Trypanosoma cruzi parasites that cause Chagas, as well as the amount of tissue damage they inflict

April 13, 2017
Reuters, Enca

Exclusive: With Nigeria's northeast facing famine, WFP funds could dry up in weeks – sources

Reuters reported that the UN World Food Programme could run out of funding to feed millions living on the brink of famine in Nigeria, thereby intensifying one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. With the money they have now WFP can only last until May 18th, a source told Reuters, although the WFP said it was reasonably certain it had funds to stretch to the end of June

April 14, 2017
Reuters
March 17, 2017
Daily Star

Six megatrends that could alter the course of sustainable development

UNDP policy specialists outline the ‘six megatrends that could alter the course of global sustainable development’ in an opinion piece for The Guardian. These trends include: 1) poverty and inequality reduction 2) population growth, ageing, migration and urbanisation 3) the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change 4) economic, financial, conflicts, disease outbreaks - shocks and crisis, 5) extensive financing for global development 6) technological innovations to power the change

April 14, 2017
The Guardian

Uganda – Aids Fund Yet to Be Set Up Two Years On

More than two years after Uganda passed a law to establish an HIV/Aids fund it has yet to be implemented. Uganda is among 35 countries that account for 90% of the new infections globally. Data shows that with each new 100,000 infections, Uganda ranks third in the world after Nigeria with 230,000 and South Africa with 340,000. Young people, especially girls between 15 and 24 are affected by the high infection rates

April 14, 2017
Africa News

U.N. votes to close, replace Haiti peacekeeping mission

The UN Security Council voted unanimously to end its 3-year-long peacekeeping mission in Haiti and replace it with a smaller police force, which would be drawn down after two years as the country boosts its own force. The mission, known as MINUSTAH, has been dogged by controversies, including the introduction of cholera to the island and sexual abuse claims

April 13, 2017
Reuters
April 12, 2017
Miami Herald
April 13, 2017
CBC News, New York Times
April 14, 2017
euronews

Why Chinese scientists are more worried than ever about bird flu

Chinese scientists are more worried about bird flu now than ever before. In an interview with Guan Yi, director of Hong Kong University’s virology lab, he explained how his work studying the evolution of avian influenza has led him to conclude H7N9 is more lethal than it was ten years ago, now it can kill chickens in a day. The virus is mutating fast and in rare cases where humans catch it, a third of them die. He fears a global pandemic and says preventing it depends on how well the governments of individual countries collaborate

April 12, 2017
OPB

India vulnerable to infectious diseases like Zika and Ebola

A new report says that South Asian nations, including India, are vulnerable to emerging infectious diseases like Zika and Ebola and their level of preparedness is adequate to protect public health. Inadequate surveillance and uneven health system capacity may accelerate the spread of emerging infectious diseases in the region, which is already burdened by diseases like tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. This was an analysis published as part of twelve analyses on health in South Asia published in the BMJ

April 12, 2017
Business Standard

India topped the global list for reporting new cases of leprosy in 2015 at 60% of all cases

Recent analysis of a WHO report into leprosy for 2015 shows that India accounted for 60% of the new global cases reported that year by 136 countries

April 12, 2017
Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age

Le Nord-Est de Madagascar durement touché

OCHA said that the Enawo cyclone in Madagascar left 30,650 people at risk of food insecurity and 168,000 with no access to drinkable water. Now health authorities are raising concerns about possible disease outbreaks and the first malaria cases have been recorded

April 12, 2017
Temoignages

Madagascar still needs help from the effects of cyclone Enawo one month on

One month ago cyclone Enawo struck Madagascar leaving behind a trail of devastation. Now the government is appealing for international help as it has 81 dead and more than 200,000 badly affected by the extreme weather event. It needs expertise, medical support and help from donors and international aid groups to get itself back on its feet

April 7, 2017
Reunion.orange.fr
April 8, 2017
Dom-Tom Actu

108 million people in the world face severe food insecurity: World Food Programme report

A report by the World Food Programme states that around 108 million people in the world were severely facing food insecurity in 2016. Notably, this figure has risen from 80 million in 2015 which indicates the situation is worsening. The WFP report lists 18 countries in which it projects the prevailing Food Security crisis Phase 3. Yemen tops the list with 14.1m people, about half the population facing severe food insecurity. Ethiopia and Afghanistan came in second and third with 9.7m and 8.5m facing food insecurity respectively

April 3, 2017
India, Trade Arabia, Yahoo India, global agriculture

Former US President Bush Touts Signature Africa AIDS Program in Botswana

Former U.S. President George W. Bush touted his signature aid project for Africa during a visit to Botswana, saying he hoped Washington would recognise its importance in saving lives threatened by AIDS. ‘I hope our government, when they analyse what works around the world, will understand that PEPFAR has saved over 11 million lives,’ Bush said  

April 4, 2017
Voice of America, Business Insider UK, Africa Review, WKZO, Reuters

Paying for healthcare with trees: win-win for orangutans and communities

Borneo’s exhilaratingly innovative ASRI programme is saving the rainforest with a stethoscope, using healthcare to decrease logging and increase organic farming. Health in Harmony asked the communities what was driving them to log the conserved forest and what it would take for them to stop. The answers that came back were surprising but compelling, affordable healthcare and organic farming. Extremely high medical bills were forcing people to logging to pay their healthcare bills. The NGO set up a clinic to the west of the national park which provides healthcare at an affordable rate. They also reward community leaders who reduce logging or encourage others to do so with further treatment cost reductions

April 2, 2017
Asia Times

Positive signs as Asia-Pacific moves towards SDGs

Dr Shamshad Akhtar, under-secretary general of the UN and executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific, praised the efforts made by Asia Pacific nations to push ahead with the implementation of the 17 SDGs. She highlighted the domestication of the action plan by these countries, many of whom have developed a national sustainable development strategy, as a particular success. She picked out progress on gender equality in primary education and maternal mortality rates which are down, except for isolated pockets

April 3, 2017
The Phnom Penh Post
April 2, 2017
Malay Mail
April 3, 2017
Eurasia Review
March 31, 2017
The Irrawady

How AIDS denialism spreads in Russia through online social networks

The Huffington Post reports on a research project carried out by an international team into AIDS denialism in Russia, with a focus of online communities and on getting a handle on what themes or ideas drive the thinking of those involved. Much to their surprise ‘three important factors were determined: inadequate counselling, denial of the diagnosis because the informants felt OK and an unwillingness to follow antiretroviral treatment.’ They also pointed to ‘an arrogant and paternalistic approach’ which many doctors employed, leading to the deniers seeking their own answers often online. They concluded with some advice ‘believe whatever you want about AIDS but check your immune system just in case’

April 3, 2017
The Huffington Post

Getting clean power to the poor hits a bump

Around one in seven people – just over one billion – still have no access to electricity, a new tracking report by the World Bank and the International Energy Agency (IEA) pointed out, saying the figure has barely moved in two years. The report identified a lack of political leadership as a main cause, adding that getting clean energy to the poor is vital if the world is to achieve other goals linked to ending poverty and boosting healthcare and education

April 3, 2017
Deutsche Welle, UN News

Senegal - anti-smoking league is partnering with a trade union to highlight the consequences of ...

The Ligue Senegalaise Contre le Tabac (Listab) and the Confederation Nationale des Travailluers du Senegal are building a strong alliance to collaborate in a campaign to spread an anti-smoking, pro-health message throughout the population in northern Senegal

April 6, 2017
Le Soleil Senegal

Researchers discover new Swine Flu strain in India, govt working on vaccine

Earlier this year, Indian researchers discovered a new strain of the H1N1 virus called the Michigan strain, which they isolated from samples in Maharashtra. The Indian Council of Medical Research is going to decide upon a new vaccine for the coming flu season as some fear what is being used at the moment may be ineffective against the new strain   

April 5, 2017
Hindustan Times

How climate change could make air travel more unpleasant

A new study says that climate change is likely to significantly increase flight turbulence, upping the risk of injury for future airline passengers. Furthermore, fuel and maintenance costs could rise for carriers. An increase in atmospheric CO2  concentrations would cause changes in the jet stream over the North Atlantic flight corridor, leading to a spike in air turbulence. With no effort to reduce atmospheric CO2, the volume of airspace experiencing light turbulence would increase by about 59%. The airspace experiencing severe turbulence could rise by anywhere between 36-188% the study found

April 6, 2017
Washington Post
April 8, 2017
Science Alert
April 6, 2017
Eureka Alert

Doctors must check weather forecasts to stop epidemics in their tracks

Experts at the international non-profit, the Malaria Consortium, called for health agencies in Africa to start consulting seasonal weather forecasts to help prepare for malaria epidemics and ensure outbreaks are spotted early and curbed before they become severe. Rising temperatures, floods and droughts can cause major epidemics in areas not usually affected by malaria and people there may lack immunity and are more likely to fall ill and die 

April 6, 2017
Reuters

UN: Latin America's Poor Need More Help to Tackle Zika

The ripple effects of the Zika virus are hitting the poor hard in Latin America and the Caribbean and could k nock back development unless states involve communities in a stronger push to tackle the disease, a UN-led study said. The virus will cost the region between $7bn and $18bn from 2015-17, said the report, large economies like Brazil will shoulder the biggest share of the cost, put poorer countries like Belize and Haiti will suffer the severest impacts 

April 6, 2017
Voice of America, Reuters, Huffington Post

In India, switching to vegetables, oranges and papaya could help save water: study

A study published in The Lancet Planetary Health Journal said India could save water and reduce planet warming emissions if people added more vegetables and fruits, like melons, oranges and papaya to their diets while reducing wheat and poultry, according to researchers

April 4, 2017
Reuters, Medical Xpress

Zika causes birth defects in one in 10 pregnancies: U.S. study

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysed a group of U.S. women with clear, confirmed test results of Zika infection during pregnancy. About one in 10 women had a fetus/baby with birth defects researchers found. Babies affected by Zika can develop congenital Zika syndrome which includes brain abnormalities, vision problems, hearing loss and problems moving limbs

April 4, 2017
Reuters, Miami Herald
April 5, 2017
Tech Times, Live Science
April 4, 2017
HealthNewsDigest

As cities surge, careful planning is needed for the 'invisible poor'

With 70% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, getting urban planning right is crucial to ensuring cities are safe, resilient and fair, particularly for the poorest residents. What is happening now on many occasions is the demolition of vast swathes of slums, home to many of those most in need. A genuine rethink of planning efforts is needed to spread the use of clean energy and address the use of scarce resources to address climate change. Existing fault lines in cities exacerbate the inequality that causes the poor become invisible and this needs to be reversed

April 5, 2017
Reuters

Railways asked to reject ads of junk food

With the Indian Railways planning to brand trains and stations to augment revenues, the Union Health Ministry has asked it not to allow advertisements of products which may have a negative effect on health. The Health Ministry said the initiative could be used to promote alcohol, foods with high fat content, sugar and salt and sweetened beverages. Ads for these products could increase the problem of NCDs in India and lead to more cost and premature deaths

April 5, 2017
The Hindu
April 3, 2017
The Telegraph India
April 4, 2017
NDTV

Nine SE European countries to sign well-being agreement

Nine south-eastern European countries are set to sign a new, far-reaching cooperation pledge to continue improving the health and well-being of their populations. The South-Eastern Europe Health Network has made visible progress to the health status of participating countries. Infant mortality decreased significantly in all nine countries and halved in some. This collaboration arrangement in public health has provided a platform to identify and address common challenges

April 5, 2017
Post Online Media

How the genomics revolution could finally help Africa

Nature magazine explains the down side of precision medicine when it fails to take account of local community gene variants which may alter the impact of a single-targeted drug solution, by highlighting the less than successful WHO recommendation to incorporate the antiretroviral drug efavirenz as a first-line therapy for a programme in Zimbabwe. It goes on to highlight the new approach called ‘Precision Public Health’ a new approach to precision medicine that bases health decisions on populations and communities rather than just on individuals. It takes account of genomic insights into a population to inform general treatment programmes. And gives examples of how some African countries have applied this and are seeing the benefit

April 5, 2017
Nature

David Nabarro: WHO's Next?

Politics Home interviews David Nabarro, candidate to become the next Director General for the World Health Organization. It highlights ‘Nabarro is the only candidate with a proven record of running an international response to disease outbreak.’ It explains Nabarro’s vision for WHO’s future: reinforcing procedures for responding to disease outbreaks early, strengthening systems capacity at country-level and capacity globally backed up with world-class laboratories and proper expertise. It detailed how Nabarro wants to focus on NCDs and work on improving best practice advice with a particular focus on women and children. He summed up his vision thus: ‘Less operational, more strategic. Less project, more policy’

April 5, 2017
Politics Home

Concern over Zika leads WHO to go for pilot programmes

Growing concern internationally over Zika persuaded WHO to develop carefully planned pilot programmes accompanied by independent monitoring and evaluation. Oxitec trials show a reduction in mosquito populations of above 90%. But as critics point out, that does not necessarily lead to a similar level of disease reduction. Other factors may sustain infection even with a smaller number of insects 

April 25, 2017
Financial Express, Financial Times

WHO’s deadly omission as tuberculosis marches on

After an uproar over the omission of TB from the WHO list of 12 pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics, the global body said it was considering editing the list to include TB. This list was intended to encourage R&D of new antibiotics in the midst of gloom that medicines are losing their power to cure diseases. Researchers and health specialists did not take kindly to Mycobacterium tuberculosis being omitted from a list of micro-organisms that pose the greatest public health risk

April 25, 2017
Business Daily

A call for implementation science and systems innovation in global health

Healthcare pilot programmes cannot turn into progress without implementation science, which examines why some of the innovations that work in the lab fail in the field. Therefore, accelerating health improvements is only possible with different modes of delivery. Solving the conundrum of having much better drugs and interventions than ever before but them being seemingly useless as the world cannot get them to the people who need them most

April 25, 2017
Devex

FAO, WAHO sign agreement to support Health development

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the West Africa Health Organization have signed a partnership agreement to support common vision of health development, nutrition and biodiversity. The agreement was signed on the sideline of a Forum on Public Private Partnership in health for the ECOWAS region in Accra. It enhances operational research aimed at reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases in relation to morbidity

April 26, 2017
CitiFM
April 25, 2017
News Ghana

‘India has potential for $1 trillion worth of sustainable business opportunities’

Lise Kingo CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said more than 50% of the progress towards the SDGs will come from India. The UNGC report shows there is $1tr worth of market opportunities for companies working in the sustainable area in India and sizeable employment generation by 2030

April 26, 2017
The Hindu

Mexico becomes first in Americas to wipe out tropical eye disease

Mexico has become the first country in the Americas to eliminate trachoma, but the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness remains endemic in Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala, the World Health Organization said. Key was specially trained medical workers who helped cut the number of cases in tricky regions, like Chiapas, from 1,800 in 2004 to zero in 2016, by promoting hygiene, antibiotics for infection and surgery for advanced cases of trachoma

April 25, 2017
Reuters

Latest breakthroughs point a way foward to eradicating malaria

Scientists from the Crick Institute and the Welcome Trust discovered a family of genes called pir determines how long malaria parasites persist in the human body. These parasites expressing the pir genes take over as the dominant parasite and establish a long lasting and persistent infection. This discovery opens the possibility that treatments targeting the pir genes could prevent persistent infection that causes chronic malaria. Studying the genomes of the parasites, scientists also found two genetic markers associated with piperaquine resistance. These markers can be used to monitor the spread of drug-resistant malaria

April 25, 2017
Financial Times

Ghana, Kenya and Malawi to pilot GSK malaria vaccine from 2018

Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will pilot the world’s first malaria vaccine from 2018, offering it for babies and children in high-risk areas as part of real-life trials, the World Health Organization said. In clinical trials it proved only partially effective, and it needs to be given in a four-dose schedule, but it is the first regulator approved vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease

April 24, 2017
Reuters, BBC, AlJazeera, Deutsche Welle
April 26, 2017
CNN Health
April 24, 2017
Quartz, Telegraph, IFLScience

INTERVIEW-Put a price on the costs of disasters, says U.N. risk chief

Calculating the costs of natural disasters is a valuable way for governments to recognize and limit the potential for damage, especially as extreme weather linked to climate change occurs more often, the UN’s disaster prevention chief said. As long as the costs of disasters are invisible it is very easy to ignore them and it becomes very hard to make the case to spend money on prevention 

April 26, 2017
Trust.org

Clues to Zika Damage Might Lie in Cases of Twins

While identical twins often share a fate, fraternal twins typically don’t, a divergence that offers clues to researchers. With one sibling affected by microcephaly because his mother was bitten by a Zika infested mosquito during pregnancy and the other apparently spared, doctors are hoping that these nine sets of twins identified in Brazil’s Zika crisis may shed some light on how the virus works generally and why it inflicts ruthless damage on some babies and not others.

May 1, 2017
New York Times

TB eradication by 2025 unrealistic, says ICMR's Dr Soumya Swaminathan

DNA India interviews Dr Soumya Swaminathan about prospects for healthcare in India over the next few years. She says “TB eradication in India by 2025 is unrealistic,” but she does feel “it is possible to eliminate leprosy by 2018”

May 1, 2017
DNA India

GM drive against malaria: Treading a fine line

The Target Malaria Initiative, involving scientists at Imperial College London and partner teams in Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda, are collectively working on a ground breaking project known as the mosquito gene drive to engineer a long-term solution to the spread of malaria in Africa. According to WHO, there were 212m cases of the disease worldwide in 2012, and 429,000 deaths. The initiative seeks to interrupt malaria transmission using gene editing to reduce the fertility of females or boost the male to female ratio. Scientists are balancing their promise with calls to ensure safety, inclusion and transparency

May 2, 2017
SciDev.net

WHO Report Slashes Number of Worldwide Hepatitis C Cases

The estimated number of individuals living with hepatitis C virus worldwide has been slashed in half by a new WHO report. Surprisingly the drop has little to do with the release of lifesaving HCV drugs. The dramatic decrease is largely due to tests that measure patients’ RNA, rather than seroprevalence, which are less precise. The meta-analysis of studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa showed that only 51% of patients diagnosed as positive from antibody tests had evidence of viral RNA. The inaccuracy is because patients can spontaneously clear the virus, while the antibodies will hang around – so the issue is more due to diagnostic tests rather than treatment

May 2, 2017
Specialty Pharmacy Times

Drowning is a silent epidemic - and it's time to end the silence

Three nations’ UN Ambassadors co-authored an article calling for global action on drowning, which they describe as a ‘hidden epidemic,’ pointing out that it causes the equivalent number of deaths as two thirds of all malnutrition and half of all malaria deaths, yet it remains unrecognised and under-resourced with a child drowning every other minute somewhere in the world

May 2, 2017
Trust.org, Trust.org

Reinventing failing growth model via sustainable development goals

Reinventing failing economic growth models via sustainable development goals could become a catalyst to change the style of investment decisions. Harnessing private sector involvement in seeking to find more ways to reach the targets set by the sustainable development goals starts to bind societal progress and market success more, which if achieved, counteracts some criticism of the ‘wooliness’ of the SDGs for being too broad and ensures sustainable progress and benefit for all

April 30, 2017
Live Mint

‘28% patients have comorbidity’: Link with other diseases adds to chikungunya’s sting, say...

An AIIMS study revealed that chikungunya infection is associated with significant morbidity. The disease, due to comorbidity, can lead to neurological complications and multi-organ dysfunction. In cases of chikungunya, the presence of hypertension and diabetes makes a person more vulnerable to the vector-borne infection, the study found 

April 29, 2017
Indian Express

Country facing major data gaps in monitoring SDGs

Bangladesh is facing a considerable data gap for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals as statistics on over two-thirds of the indicators are either partially available or not available at all, a new study has revealed. There are 241 indicators to monitor the 169 targets under the 17 SDGs. But data on only 70 indicators is readily available, 108 partially available and in 63 instances not available at all, the study said 

April 27, 2017
Dhaka Tribune

Global foundation launches value-based healthcare pilots

Key healthcare stakeholders, led by the World Economic Forum, plan pilot programmes this year to show the value of a new model for healthcare that would track and pay for treatment based on how well it works rather than the volume of care. The first pilot being set up in Atlanta Georgia will focus on treating heart failure. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies are starting to realize that if they don’t change the nature of healthcare their prices will be slashed. If they want healthy profits they will have to prove that their drug actually lowers the overall costs of care

April 26, 2017
Reuters

To end poverty, Latin America must invest in equal, green growth - UN

Increased cooperation among Latin American and Caribbean nations, alongside a shift to green policies and higher technology use are crucial for them to meet global development goals. The target, according to the UN’s Alicia Barcena, has to be to take 75m in the region out of extreme poverty. As public spending and economic activity reduce, there is likely to be a stagnation in poverty reduction. With a likely increase in extreme weather events, climate change needs to become a driver behind the region’s desire to develop secure infrastructure, more robust healthcare systems and kickstart new sustainable industries to create growth

April 27, 2017
Trust.org, Antara News

Water security: the key ingredient for soda tax success

Mexico has the highest sugary drinks consumption per capita, followed by Chile and South Africa. The lack of widespread access to water in these countries has resulted in the greater permeation of sugary drinks into the market. In Mexico, which introduced a sugary drinks tax in 2014, the goal is to use the tax revenue to support the introduction of free drinking water fountains in all public schools, reducing the need to buy bottled water. Mexico has 206,155 public schools of which 42,617 get water either from a well or a tanker truck. The quality of water is not guaranteed and the programme saw resources cut in 2016

April 28, 2017
Blogs.Plos.Org

Waste not: how cities can improve sanitation

Brian Arbogast, director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programmes at the Gates Foundation, discusses the group’s ‘Reinvent the toilet’ challenge. He highlights how a lack of sanitation often results in cycles of contamination and infection that impose a heavy cost on human, economic and environmental health. He highlights a new ‘Talking Toilets’ 360 video, which puts viewers face to face with the consequences of poor sanitation and opens eyes to possible solutions

April 28, 2017
Financial Times

Toilet volunteers help clean up Bhutan in public health push

The Bhutan Toilet Association aims to rid the country of the practice of open defecation. Bhutan families traditionally built toilets on the first floor of dwellings with a sty underneath so human waste could serve as fodder.  Modern toilets have become popular in cities and towns but with the majority of Bhutanese living in remote rural hamlets, poor sanitation remains an issue in large parts of the country. Reports of typhoid due to water contamination during the monsoon season are common. The BTA now has activists working to rid the country of this practice and plans to build toilet facilities along highways and upgrade existing facilities to make them more friendly to women and people with disabilities

April 28, 2017
Reuters, Asia One

Vaccination gaps lead to dangerous measles outbreaks in Europe: ECDC

Gaps in vaccination coverage against measles have led to several outbreaks of the contagious disease in Europe, during the past year, with more than 1,500 measles cases reported from 14 European countries due to an ‘accumulation of unvaccinated individuals’ according to officials from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In 10 countries, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden – the number of cases reported in Jan-Feb 2017 was more than double that of a year earlier 

April 24, 2017
Reuters, Reuters

‘They’re just hiding’: Experts say Puerto Rico may be underreporting Zika-affected births

The number of babies born in Puerto Rico with microcephaly and other birth defects caused by the Zika virus appears to be unexpectedly low, so much so that experts are questioning whether the count is being significantly underreported by authorities on the island. To date, Puerto Rico has reported only 16 cases of congenital defects associated with Zika, even though more than 3,300 pregnant women are known to have contracted the virus and several times that number are believed to have been infected

April 18, 2017
Statnews, Lancaster Online

Home Ministry cancels FCRA licence of NGO linked to Gates Foundation

The Indian government has cancelled the FCRA registration of the NGO Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) barring it from receiving foreign funds. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of its biggest donors. The MHA order listed a six point violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act accusing the leading NGO of misusing foreign funding by working with the anti-tobacco lobby

April 19, 2017
India Today, Live Mint
April 20, 2017
Indian Express

World Health Organization hails major progress on tackling tropical diseases

The WHO director general announced that significant strides have been made in the fight against sleeping sickness, elephantiasis and other neglected tropical diseases. Data from WHO showed that in 2015 more than 60% of the 1.6bn people suffering from neglected tropical diseases received treatment. In the same year there were fewer reported cases of sleeping sickness than in any other year since records began. There were roughly 3,000 cases of sleeping sickness recorded in 2015, an 89% reduction in numbers since 2000. There were only 25 cases of Guinea worm disease, a condition that affected 3.5m people in 1986

April 19, 2017
The Guardian, Reuters, BBC
April 18, 2017
Financial Times
April 20, 2017
The Times

Poverty, open sewers and parasites: ‘America’s dirty shame’

The FT reports that tropical parasites are thriving in the hot, humid U.S. south where the poorest Americans are faced with a new era of budget cuts under Donald Trump’s new administration

April 18, 2017
Financial Times

WHO Calls for China's National Ban on Smoking

WHO officials told the Chinese that economic dividends from China’s tobacco industry are a false economy and at odds with the government’s Healthy China 2030 vision. The cost of tobacco use in china in 2014 amounted to a staggering 350bn yuan ($57bn), a tenfold increase since 2000. This increase is due to more people being diagnosed with tobacco-related illnesses and increasing healthcare expenditure. When you factor in productivity losses from premature deaths the figure is even higher, said the UN report

April 16, 2017
Women of China
April 18, 2017
The Sun Daily, China Daily

WHO Approves World's First-Ever Dengue Vaccine

Known as the Dengvaxia, several countries have already licensed it: for example, Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador and the Philippines, but last weeks’ WHO approval is likely to spur a host of other developing nations to follow suit at a time when climate change and urbanization are putting increasing numbers of people at risk from mosquito-borne diseases

April 15, 2017
Time

Togo's battle with coastal erosion

The Togolese Environmental Department and the World Bank have launched projects to limit the damage being caused by coastal erosion. The strategy involves building physical structures to inhibit the destructive power of the wind and the waves. Secondly, encouragement for coastal communities to play an active part in defending their shorelines and to help them to develop alternative sources of income to replace those that contribute to the severe coastal erosion the country is currently experiencing

April 17, 2017
Deutsche Welle

Zika virus can trigger epilepsy

Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In a study of 48 babies in Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, 50% reportedly had clinical seizures, the research team reported (

April 18, 2017
CBS News
April 17, 2017
Miami Herald
April 19, 2017
Science Times

Partnership of nations set to combat pandemic health threats

The FT reports on the coming together of an international team of specialists who are going to work to combat pandemic health threats. Backed by the UK, Norway, the EU, the Gates Foundation and India, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) is a partnership designed to support research and coordination to accelerate the development and distribution of new vaccines, limiting the threat of emerging lethal infections 

April 19, 2017
Financial Times, Financial Times

March for Science draws big crowds, clever signs across U.S.

Hundreds of thousands of people in cities all over the world got involved in Earth Day events with a ‘March for Science’ designed, according to organizers, to counteract a growing disregard for evidence-based knowledge around the world administrations

April 22, 2017
Reuters, BBC
April 23, 2017
Sydney Morning Herald
April 22, 2017
Macleans

As Indian Kashmir's lush valleys turn to concrete, fears of flooding rise

In 2014-14 farming in the Indian-Kashmir region represented 17% of the region’s GDP whereby just 10 years earlier this stood at 28%. Farmers are cashing-in on soaring land prices and selling up, land for growing paddy has shrunk by nearly a third since 2012, with a loss of more than 44,000 hectares. Srinagar has become one of the fastest growing urban areas in the world as many migrate to it. But locals says unrestricted house building is now putting people at higher risk of floods as the climate change impact bites, it leaves behind those in the mountainous region where only a third of the land is cultivatable and dramatically forces up the need for food imports

April 24, 2017
Trust.org

Malaria sickening thousands in US and racking up millions in healthcare costs, new study finds

A new study shows that cases of malaria, with infections often caught overseas before returning to the U.S., has resulted in about half a billion dollars in healthcare costs for the country over a fifteen year period. It concludes that Americans who are travelling more often to countries with malaria are simply not taking the precautions that they should leading to this cost burden

April 24, 2017
EurekaAlert, NPR, ABC news

Amid WHO praise for tackling tropical disease, concern over rise in leprosy

While India earned an honourable mention in a new WHO report on neglected tropical diseases (NTD), it is also one of the handful of countries around the world that have shown an increase in leprosy cases. The number of leprosy cases in India went up from 125,786 to 127,326 between 2014 and 2015 

April 20, 2017
Indian Express

Amid vaccine debate, Italy faces return of eradicable diseases

Italy has become a battleground for vaccines, with tensions increasing in March following a measles outbreak. The country has seen more than 1,000 cases in the first three months of the year, a 450% increase year-on-year. Although vaccination for polio, diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis B is compulsory to attend school, a member of parliament for the ruling Democratic Party is introducing a bill in May to make vaccinations compulsory for more diseases. The populist Five Star Movement opposes the plans arguing parents should have the freedom to choose and they’d revoke any laws. Experts say the measles crisis is growing because of vaccine hesitancy and false claims from discredited studies about the risks

April 19, 2017
Financial Times

U.N. chief, Trump meet at White House amid U.S. funding cut threat

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres met with President Trump at the White House in talks set against a backdrop of Trump’s plans to cut funding to the world body and its agencies. Trump has proposed a 28% budget cut for diplomacy and foreign aid, which includes an unspecified reduction in financial support for the UN and its agencies, as well as an enforcement of a 25% cap on U.S. funding for peacekeeping operations. The USA is the largest contributor paying 22% of the $5.4bn core budget and 28.5% of the $7.9bn peacekeeping budget. The talks were said to be constructive and they agreed to meet again in the future

April 21, 2017
Reuters

Manitoba scientists develop 1st new antibiotic in decades

Canadian scientists say they have discovered the first new antibiotic in decades. They suggest it may be effective in killing two of the most worrisome superbugs: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The drug, called PEG-2S, works by inhibiting a sodium pump called NQR that at least 20 different types of bacteria need for respiration

April 20, 2017
CTV News, CTV News
April 21, 2017
UKNews.yahoo.com, Anadolu Agency, Canada Journal

Here's a reason behind depleting groundwater

A new study by researchers has found that the use of non-renewable groundwater in food production has increased exponentially. In 2000, non-groundwater use account for 20% of the world’s irrigation. In 10 years it jumped to 22%, driven by cases such as China, which registered a 102% increase in groundwater depletion, and the USA (31% increase) and India (23%)

April 1, 2017
Economic Times

Alarming measles outbreak in Italy blamed on anti-vaccination populist movement

An alarming rise in measles cases in Italy has been blamed on an anti-vaccination movement in the country supported by the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) party. In the first three months of 2017, more than a thousand cases have been recorded exceeding the total number of cases for the whole of 2016.The outbreak is primarily concentrated in the wealthier regions of northern and central Italy. The regional differences are due to the country’s decentralised public health system which permits regional authorities to legislate how they see fit for health issues

April 1, 2017
International Business Times

Studies show why desk jobs are bad for heart, waist

A new study, led by Dr William Tigbe, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, provides further evidence that spending too much time sitting down is bad for your health and waistline. The study found that workers who have a desk-bound job have bigger waistlines and an increased risk of heart disease

March 15, 2017
Guardian Nigeria

Cleaner air could save three million early deaths in China each year: study

China could prevent three million premature deaths a year if it enforced tighter air quality standards, in accordance with United Nations guidelines, according to a study published in The British Medical

March 15, 2017
Reuters

Why Garbage Dumps Are so Dangerous

Open dumps for rubbish and waste in the developing world, such as the one in Ethiopia, where many tragic deaths recently occurred, are also hazards which can cause water pollution, loss of biodiversity, increased greenhouse gas emissions and the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria. Accidents like the one in Addis Ababa only go to highlight this pressing danger even more

March 15, 2017
Bloomberg

Poor, minority neighborhoods have more tobacco-selling shops per capita

Neighbourhoods in the U.S. which have a high proportion of black residents, or the highest poverty levels, tend to have the greatest density of stores selling cigarettes and tobacco products, researchers say in a new study. Poverty explained some of the link, as did an urban planning concept, which sees a proportion of the homes which are rented versus owned homes accounting for most of the link

March 16, 2017
Reuters

Quality sleep, balanced diet key to good health

Adequate sleep, along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, is essential for good health. In fact, with enough quality sleep, a person can hold a number of diseases at bay

March 17, 2017
Times of India

The Nile River Delta, once the bread basket of the world, may soon be uninhabitable

The Nile River Delta is suffering from decreased water flow, rising sea levels and salt water intrusion – all of which damage food production and fresh water supplies, a multi-year study published in the Geological Society of America found. With a population expected to double in the next 50 years, Egypt may see critical countrywide fresh water and food shortages by 2025, the research team predicted

March 16, 2017
QZ.com

Doctors warn climate change is harming our health

U.S. doctors’ groups have set up a new organization called The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health with half of all U.S. doctors as members. The new group is presenting a report to Congress with scientific evidence showing how climate change is harming our collective health. The group is also calling on policymakers to act decisively

March 15, 2017
CBS News

Indian leather workers risk health, life to make shoes for global market: report

About 2.5m Indian workers work long hours with toxic chemicals for poverty wages in the country’s leather industry, making shoes and clothes for Western brands, a study has found

March 15, 2017
Reuters

How Organic Produce Can Make America Less Healthy

Bloomberg highlighted the Environmental Working Group’s annual ‘dirty dozen’ list which is designed to scare people about pesticides on fruit and vegetable and make you buy organic. Bloomberg pointed out that ‘organic marketing could be dissuading some consumers from buying fruit and vegetables at all, and that is really not healthy’

March 9, 2017
Bloomberg

Cuomo’s $1.4 Billion Plan Targets Brooklyn in Fight Against Poor Health and Poverty

New York State Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced a comprehensive plan to direct U.S.$1.4bn in the state’s resources to long-suffering areas of central Brooklyn. The plan would allot the biggest chunk of money to healthcare $700m. Citing persistent problems of poverty, violence and poor health the idea of anti-poverty initiatives is stirring talk of a possible run by Cuomo for the presidency in 2020

March 9, 2017
New York Times

Pollution, traffic biggest deterrent for people to walk: survey

Exposure to pollution and traffic is the biggest deterrent for people keen on walking, a multi-city study said. The study looked at what were the barriers to walking in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and

March 8, 2017
The Hindu

23% population still defecates in the open, says report

A little less than a quarter of Pakistan’s population (or 23%) still defecate in the open, according to the latest Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report by UNICEF and WHO. The report, on safely managed drinking water, reveals Pakistan has missed the sanitation target it set itself and is still within the bracket of countries with lower average coverage

March 12, 2017
Express Tribune

Malnutrition threatens to derail Tanzania’s education development

Malnutrition threatens to derail Tanzania’s education development with data showing that in 31 districts where nearly a third of children have been affected by malnutrition, their performances in the 2016 primary school leaving examinations were poor. The Citizen commented ‘chronic malnutrition affects the growth of children below the age of five, impairing their brains’

March 12, 2017
The Citizen

Govt works out draft indicators to measure progress on SDGs

The Indian government is working on indicators designed to measure the country’s progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are aimed at improving the global economic, social and environmental situation

March 14, 2017
Hindu Business Line

Healthier diets could slow climate change via lower medical costs - Study

Research accounting for greenhouse gas emissions, caused by healthcare system, show that healthier diets could have an even greater effect on climate change than previously thought. Researchers from the University of California and Oxford University conducted the first ever such study, combining both the potential decrease in emissions from altered food production and from the decreased medical care required for dietary related diseases

March 14, 2017
Food Navigator

More people could benefit from BRCA breast cancer drugs

A study by Serena Nik-Zainal and her team, at the Sanger Institute, found that thousands of breast cancers share biochemical similarities to cases caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. A type of drug called PARP inhibitors can be used to treat these cancers and were specifically designed to target tumours with defects in these genes. But Nik-Zainal’s findings suggest 8,000 more people with breast cancer may also respond to these drugs

March 13, 2017
New Scientist

Dogs, grandkids can keep COPD sufferers active

Walking a dog and spending time with grandchildren keeps people with impaired lung function more active than their peers who don’t have these outlets, researchers say. Staying physically active is important for people with chronic pulmonary disease and finding things that motivate patients to do so is central to planning interventions

March 17, 2017
Reuters

Nigeria’s Water Bill Could Criminalize Drinking Water For Millions

Around 1-in-10 people in Lagos have access to water which the state utility provides. The rest, some 19m residents, rely on informal water sources, either drilling their own bore holes to drink or fetching water from lakes or rivers. Those who can afford it pay exorbitant amounts to water vendors. So activists are sounding the alarm as the Lagos government has just passed a law to criminalize the extraction of water, including the drilling of boreholes and the purchasing of water from private sellers

March 17, 2017
Huffington Post

3 out of 5 Ghanaians drink water contaminated by human waste

Three out of every five Ghanaians are said to be drinking water contaminated by human waste, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio, according to David Duncan, CEO of WASH an NGO present in Accra to mark World Water Day

March 22, 2017
MyJoy Online

Rise of superbug tuberculosis hampers global control efforts

Rising rates of drug-resistant TB are threatening to derail decades of progress against the disease and new antibiotics to treat them are in their infancy. Around 1 in 5 cases of TB are now resistant to at least one major anti-TB drug, researchers for a new study found. Around 1 in 20 are multi-drug resistant or extensively drug resistant. Approximately half of global cases of MDR-TB are in India, China and Russia, but migration and international travel have allowed drug-resistant strains to appear in almost every part of the world

March 22, 2017
Reuters
March 24, 2017
Hindustan Times
March 23, 2017
SABC News
March 24, 2017
India.com
March 26, 2017
Daily Star Bangladesh
March 25, 2017
Ewn.co.za
March 27, 2017
Guardian Nigeria

Number of rural Indians without clean water equivalent to UK population - charity

Reuters reports India is home to the highest number of rural people without access to clean water, and it faces increased strain on scarce resources due to a rising population and climate change among other facts, Water Aid said (

March 21, 2017
Reuters, Press Trust of India, The Hindu

Tobacco treaty has helped cut smoking rates, but more work needed

A global tobacco treaty put in place in 2005 has helped reduce smoking rates by 2.5% worldwide in 10 years, researchers said, but use of deadly tobacco products could be cut even further with more work on anti-smoking policies. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control analysis over the last ten years saw those countries which have fully implemented more FCTC measures obtain significantly greater reductions in smoking rates

March 21, 2017
Reuters

Identity politics and intolerance a barrier to development, says UN report

The UN’s annual human development index cites Brexit as an example of a nationalist agenda that could hold back progress towards global development goals

March 21, 2017
The Guardian

Pollution Is Killing India’s Holy Ganges, Harming Hindu Devotees

The Sankat Mochan Foundation published a study into the water quality of India’s holy Ganges River which said waste pollution is killing the river. The study found that people bathing in the Ganges are running a risk of cholera, hepatitis A, typhus and gastrointestinal diseases from the waters

March 18, 2017
Latin American Herald, World Hindu News
March 15, 2017
Agencia EFE

West African urban polls find clean water top priority

Reuters reports on examples of several African cities which are polling people on the fringes of urban areas to learn what were their main desires/needs. The results from the Resilient Africa Network regional lab indicated that ‘access to clean water and/or sanitation’ where priorities for them

March 17, 2017
Reuters

Why global warming could lead to a rise of 100,000 diabetes cases a year in the U.S.

If the average temperature rises by one degree sea levels will rise, crop yields will fall and vulnerable species will see their habitat shrink or disappear. Now, a new study suggests the number of American adults suffering from diabetes would rise by more than 100,000 a year. People develop type 2 diabetes when their extra pounds and sedentary lifestyle make their bodies less sensitive to insulin. That in turn causes blood sugar to rise and can eventually lead to all sorts of diseases. Why the numbers of diabetics will rise is down to brown adipose tissue which kicks in when temperatures are low and the body needs heat to stay warm. So changes in the weather will trigger changes in sensitivity to insulin 

March 20, 2017
LA Times

Global Goals: European Pension Funds Tilt Capital Toward ‘SDG Investing’

Fund manager and other major asset owners gathered at the Impact Summit Europe in The Hague to outline proposals as to how pension funds could tilt capital finance towards SDG investing

March 21, 2017
Impact Alpha, FTSE Global Markets

Burundi : 7602 abandons scolaires pour des raisons socio-économiques à Mwaro depuis 2016

Governor of Mwaro province in Burundi said ‘7,602 students have left their studies for socio-economic reasons since the start of this year. The reasons given are searching for work to be able to support themselves or other disease-driven constraints such as malaria or other illnesses’

March 20, 2017
Burundi AgNews

Survey finds most Tanzanians go hungry, despite government denials

Most Tanzanians have experienced hunger in the past three months, with food shortages most severe in drought-hit rural areas, a countrywide survey found, despite government denials of a food crisis. The survey, by think tank Twaweza, found that 64% of interviewees experienced shortages in cities, as opposed to 84% who did so in rural areas

March 8, 2017
Reuters

In Costa Rica 1000 Children a year die as a Consequence of a Polluted Environment

Contamination and a dirty unhealthy environment make children sick and cause their death worldwide, according to a WHO report. In Costa Rica, 1,000 children a year die as a consequence of a polluted environment

March 7, 2017
Costa Rica Star

EU nations thrash out deal on carbon market reform

EU nations reached a compromise on long-awaited reforms to the carbon emissions market, moving the European Union closer to adopting key rules to deliver on its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate accord

February 28, 2017
Reuters, Reuters

The UN can save itself by working effectively with outside partners

The UN is moving away from top-down multilateralism among states towards new ways of coordinating with business, civil society and other non-state actors. As laid out in the SDGs, multi-stakeholder partnerships are meant to be pragmatic, solutions-orientated, ways of working together to achieve shared aims at a time of squeezed budgets and scarce public resources. These partnerships have a chequered history, but they still offer the UN a lifeline

February 28, 2017
The Conversation

Business groups, once tobacco-friendly, switch sides in fight

Reuters reports that many local chamber of commerce groups in the United States are ‘switching sides’ when it comes to smoking rules, driven by a growing awareness that smoking drives up healthcare costs for employers and that broader wellness initiatives, such as promoting exercise and nutrition, can improve productivity within the business

February 28, 2017
Reuters

WHO says bird flu outbreaks raise alarm, but human risks still low

WHO says the risk of sustained human transmission of H7N9 bird flu in China is low, but because the surge in human cases there is worrying the situation requires constant monitoring

March 1, 2017
Reuters

Somalia's new president declares drought emergency

Somali’s new president has declared a drought emergency as emaciated people start to stream in to Mogadishu. The UN is estimating that half of the 10m Somali population may need assistance

February 28, 2017
Deutsche Welle, The Times of Africa
February 27, 2017
Le Monde

The Mistakes We Made Responding to Ebola

Fortune Magazine reviewed how WHO mishandled the Ebola outbreak, interviewing Dr David Nabarro, who went on to be the UN secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola, and who candidly explained where things had gone astray with WHO’s response and what needed to change going forward

February 28, 2017
Fortune

Why Europe should lead on fight against disease

Renate Baehr, executive director of the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevolkerung, wrote an Op Ed for Politico Europe, in which she argued that ‘the rise of Donald Trump and Brexit have made European action on disease control more important than ever and that the Bloc needs to fill the U.S. power vacuum as it steadily withdraws’

February 23, 2017
Politico

New Trial Looks at HIV’s Risks to Hearts of Aging Patients

Scientists are embarking on a massive clinic-based trial to test a drug which will reduce the chances of people living with HIV developing heart diseases and suffering from heart-related illnesses like strokes. The trial will span four continents and involve 6,500 participants

February 27, 2017
Voice of America, Times Live
February 28, 2017
SABC

India issues fresh antibiotic guidelines to tackle superbug menace

India’s ICMR has issued fresh antibiotic guidelines in order to tackle the growing superbug menace. The purpose of issuing these guidelines ‘is to bring about a change in the way these antibiotics are prescribed,’ the ICMR deputy director said  

February 28, 2017
Reuters, Economic Times

Japan’s tobacco lobby seeks to head off indoor smoking ban

A Japanese plan to ban indoor smoking in public places before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, bringing the country in line with most of the developing world, is facing fierce resistance from the country’s powerful tobacco

March 5, 2017
Financial Times

Mediterranean diet may reduce risk of form of breast cancer – study

Eating plenty of nuts, fruit and fish may cut the risk of getting oestrogen-receptor negative cancer, a Dutch research finds

March 6, 2017
The Guardian, The Times, Daily Mail

Warming may disrupt four-fifths of world's oceans by 2050: study

Global warming will disrupt four-fifths of the world’s oceans by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, threatening fish, which are the main source of food for a billion people, scientists from the British National Oceanography Centre said

March 7, 2017
Reuters

Could 'resurrection' crops survive drought and feed a hungry planet?

Research shows that survival mechanisms in drought conditions for 135 varieties of ‘resurrection plant,’ such as the Rose of Jerricho and Siempre Viva desert plants, are similar to the dessication processes found in crop seeds. As crops produce dry seeds, it implies the genetic mechanism for dessication tolerance exists in crops. By modifying the existing gene composition of maize, the team believe they can produce drought tolerant crops which can offer an answer to feeding a hungry planet

March 7, 2017
Reuters

Polluted environments kill 1.7 million children each year: WHO reports

Unhealthy environments are responsible for one-quarter of child deaths, according to two new reports from WHO. ‘A polluted environment is a deadly one, particularly for young children as their developing organs and immune systems, smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water’

March 7, 2017
xinhuanet, Daily Star

Air pollution can change efficacy of antibiotics, says study

A new study from University of Leicester researchers shows that bacteria which cause respiratory infections in humans are directly impacted by air pollution, altering the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment, and thus, increasing the potential for infection

March 3, 2017
CNBC, Financial Express

Malaria goes sub-microscopic, proves its existence in Chennai

A study carried out by the National Institute of Malaria Research Chennai, along with other institution, has shown the existence of asymptomatic malaria in Chennai, which remains undetected. ‘This sub-microscopic malaria acts as a transmission reservoir in endemic areas and poses a major challenge to those working on elimination,’ the study lead said

March 1, 2017
New Indian Express

ALERT: Zika Virus Could Be Transmitted by More Mosquito Species Than Previously Thought

A new study revealed the number of mosquito species capable of transmitting the Zika virus is larger than first thought. The study names another potential 26 candidate species which can serve as vectors for the virus

March 1, 2017
Nature World News, India.com, ProKerala, The Asian Age

Tuberculosis Critical Group of Bacteria, needs new Antibiotics ─ TB Alliance tells WHO

WHO was urged to add Mycobacterium tuberculosis to its crisis in new antibiotics critical group list, as groups say the world needs urgent research and development to combat drug-resistant TB bacteria. Campaigners told WHO TB is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.8m people each year, and R&D investment into solutions are critically underfunded

March 1, 2017
Africa Science News
February 28, 2017
Xinhuanet

A Look At Latest Figures On R&D For Neglected Diseases

In a new report from Policy Cures, it concluded that financing for R&D into so-called neglected diseases rose, mainly due to the Ebola outbreak and private sector contributions representing a bigger share

March 1, 2017
Intellectual Property Watch

In drought-hit Kenya, fairer sharing of rivers helps keep the peace

Associations for water users along the Enkare Narok tributary are complementing the work of nine other groups on the main Ewaso Nyiro River. Together they are managing the resources in a way to avoid the violence that has erupted elsewhere, between herders and farmers, as drought shrank pastures

March 3, 2017
Reuters

Top Trump Advisers Are Split on Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The New York Times reports that ‘the White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to cancel the Paris Climate Change agreement, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge’

March 2, 2017
New York Times

Experts urge BD using tobacco surcharge to combat NCDs

At a recent meeting with stakeholders in Dhaka, the Bangladesh government was urged to adopt a 1% health development surcharge on tobacco products to fund policies to prevent the most common non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung diseases

March 2, 2017
Observer Bangladesh

Court grants living status to the ganges

Uttarakhand’s high court granted the Ganga and Yamuna rivers status as living entities, bestowing on them the same legal rights as a person, a move that could help in efforts to clean the pollution-choked rivers

March 22, 2017
Hindustan Times
March 21, 2017
Reuters, Le Figaro
March 20, 2017
Press Trust of India
March 22, 2017
Indian Express
March 21, 2017
The Asian Today

Tuberculosis: Experts blame disease spread on recession, malnutrition

Experts said the high incidence of tuberculosis among rural and city slum dwellers in Nigeria can be blamed, in some part, on the economic recession in the country. The experts also identified malnutrition as a key factor in reducing a TB patient’s chances of surviving treatment. Health professionals said ‘there is a need to focus more on TB screening and treatment as more Nigerians have lesser access to good meals which boost immunity against infection

March 29, 2017
Punch Nigeria

UN strategy for eliminating HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is unfeasible, according to UCLA study

WHO and UNAIDS propose using treatment prevention to eliminate HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. The strategy would treat people infected with HIV to reduce their ability to infect others as a way to prevent them from transmitting the disease. UNAIDS has set a goal to diagnose and treat 90% of those individuals infected by 2020. Now, a new study by UCLA researchers concludes that although the plan is laudable, implementing it might not be feasible. Spatial demographics of populations in predominantly rural countries will significantly hinder and possibly prevent the elimination of HIV. Only a minority live in urban centres and nobody knows where the vast majority of HIV-infected people live

March 29, 2017
UCLA, Newswise.com

Candidato a director de la OMS: "Los laboratorios deben bajar los precios a los paises pobres"

On a visit to Guatemala to learn more about the health challenges the country is facing, David Nabarro, candidate to be the next Director General of WHO, said ‘pharmaceutical companies should seek to find a way in which to reduce prices for medicines in poorer countries’

March 29, 2017
America Economica
March 28, 2017
Noticias Terra, La Conexion USA, Emisoras Unidas 89.7

Despite growth, one in 10 Asians live in extreme poverty

A report released at the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development said ‘some 400m people, a tenth of Asia’s population, live on less than $1.90 a day – a global definition of poverty – despite the region’s impressive economic growth. Taking into account wider indicators of poverty such as health, education and living standards for the same period (2010-13), the number of poor was higher at 931m, or one in four,’ the UN and the ADB said

March 29, 2017
Reuters

Do you pop pills without consulting a doctor? Inappropriate intake of antibiotics can destroy ...

Most doctors tend to treat a patient’s symptom and prescribe medicines in haste, sometimes before a consensus on the right medical condition, and then administer antibiotics. This lack of care is producing negligent results as there is an alarming increase in antibiotic resistance and antibiotics are gradually losing their capacity to fight an increasing number of diseases

March 28, 2017
Economic Times, Vanguard Nigeria

Era of self medication for fever is gone

Era of self medication for fever is gone given all the state is now currently facing

March 28, 2017
Vanguard Nigeria, Economic Times

Waterborne diseases on the rise

Waterborne diseases appear to be on the rise in Ahmedabad. According to the weekly health report from AMC, five cases of cholera were reported in civic-run hospitals in the city. Last week, 287 cases of waterborne diseases were reported, of these, 186 cases of vomiting and diarrhoea, 39 of jaundice, 70 cases of typhoid and two cases of cholera. Two fresh cases of swine flu have also been reported

March 28, 2017
Times of India, Nyoooz

Childhood lead exposure linked to lower adult IQ

Kids exposed to high levels of lead decades ago may now be approaching middle age with lower IQs and earning potential than they would have had otherwise, a new study suggests

March 28, 2017
Reuters

Western demand for goods from China is killing 100,000 a year

A new study claims Chinese-made goods bought in western Europe and the U.S. have, in effect, killed over 100,000 people in China in one year alone – as a result of air pollution associated with their manufacture.  Microscopic pollutant particles in the air from increased manufacturing and consumption mean India and China are now shouldering the biggest burden in terms of pollutant-linked deaths. The study authors say in 2007 22% of air-pollution related deaths were associated with goods and services produced in one country and consumed in another

March 29, 2017
New Scientist, Eureka Alert, The Guardian, USA Today
March 30, 2017
Business Day

Asia suffered S$116b losses from disasters last year, study shows

Total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters almost doubled last year, compared with the previous year, with Asia suffering the highest damage. Globally, insured losses were also at their highest since 2012, a study from the research arm of global reinsurer Swiss Re Institute showed

March 29, 2017
Today Online
March 28, 2017
Economic Times, Canadian Underwriter

“What we have seen is hard to believe:” A blog from aid worker in Baidoa, Somalia

International Medical Corps expert explains what he saw when he was part of a fact finding missions to Baidoa in Somalia, in a team to assess the situation and plan for the best way to help the IDPs who have been forced to leave their homes because of drought and hunger

March 31, 2017
Hiiraan.com

'White coats' alone can't combat infectious disease outbreaks: U.N. adviser

Poor countries need more resources and training on the ground to combat infectious diseases that are spreading in new ways and to new places, partly due to climate change, said David Nabarro, who is in the race to be next head of the World Health Organization. The first thing in dealing with outbreaks is to make sure there is capacity in the countries to deal with the problems early and simulation exercises are crucial in ensuring local communities are prepared

March 31, 2017
Reuters
April 1, 2017
Economic Times, DFID
March 31, 2017
Financial Times

International Nurses Day Gets a Multimedia Makeover in 2017

The International Council of Nurses has released a new report called ‘Nurses: A Voice to lead the sustainable development goals.’ The report makes the case that strong positive investment in nursing is a key factor in ensuring healthier nations

April 1, 2017
Medical World Nigeria
May 12, 2017
International Council of Nurses

SC bans sale, registration of BS-III vehicles from April 1

The Indian Supreme Court restrained auto manufacturers from selling BS-III vehicles from April 1st when emissions rules would come into force. The judges said ‘the health of millions of citizens was more important than the commercial interests of manufacturers’ and directed the government to not allow the registration of polluting BS III vehicles next month

March 30, 2017
Times of India
March 29, 2017
Deutsche Welle, Indian Express, Hindustan Times

U.S.-UK alliance targets the world's deadliest superbugs

Eleven biotech companies and research teams in Britain and the United States were awarded $48m in funding to speed development of new antibiotics powerful enough to take on the world’s deadliest superbugs. Announcing its first funding, the new UK-U.S. alliance known as CARB-X, underlined its intention to meet the challenge posed by drug-resistant infections which kill 700,000 people a year worldwide

March 30, 2017
Reuters

Malawi urged to ban cheap super-strong liquor destroying young lives

A draft alcohol policy drawn up by the Ministry of Health and NGOs, which includes recommendations to restrict young people’s access to alcohol, was presented to the Malawi cabinet for approval in 2015, but has still not been adopted. Drug Fight Malawi, a group campaigning for tougher controls, said it believes the drinks industry had intervened to block the policy. The government said it could not comment on the delay but agreed alcohol was having a negative impact on development

March 30, 2017
Reuters, Times Live

Prior exposure to dengue or West Nile could make Zika worse: report

A new study says that prior infection with West Nile of dengue, two viruses closely related to Zika, can make Zika symptoms worse. It raises a degree of concern about current or experimental dengue vaccines because they could inadvertently make Zika infection worse. The study authors suggested that companies consider combining a dengue and Zika vaccine to protect against both illnesses at the same time

March 30, 2017
Reuters
March 31, 2017
Wired

China says pollution inspectors find firms falsifying data

Chinese air quality inspectors found problems at more than 3,000 companies during inspections over the first three months of this year, of which, a large proportion were found to be falsifying data, the environment ministry said. Some companies tried to stop inspectors from carrying out checks, including Apple supplier Foxconn

March 30, 2017
Reuters
February 27, 2017
China Daily

How successful were the millennium development goals?

A new study tries to measure the success of the Millennium Development Goals. The research indicates that at least 21 million lives were saved due to accelerated progress. Two-thirds of the lives saved were in sub-Saharan Africa, around a fifth were in China and India and the remainder were spread across the developing world. Between 8.8 to 17.3m of the lives saved were due to faster progress on child mortality; 8.7m due to expanded treatment for HIV Aids, 3.1m due to declines in TB deaths and approximately half a million due to improvements in maternal mortality

March 30, 2017
The Guardian
January 11, 2017
Brookings Institute

What they knew and when they knew it

Slate draws on new emails which show that American officials quickly realised that the UN had brought cholera to Haiti. The emails show that the U.S. government at the highest levels was almost immediately aware that UN forces likely played a role in the outbreak. Multiple federal agencies shielded the UN from accountability to protect the organization. The UN continued to deny any involvement in the outbreak until it admitted it ‘played a role’ in 2016. By then, 800,000 people in Haiti had been sickened and more than 9,500 killed, with some experts saying the real toll could be two or three times higher

March 30, 2017
Slate, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

Pro-poor urbanization, sustainable infrastructure can unlock Asia-Pacific's prosperity – UN

Some 400m people in Asia and the Pacific still confront poverty as part of their daily lives due to widening income inequality, despite the region’s impressive gains in reducing poverty in recent decades, a UN-backed report has found. The report underscores the importance of addressing poverty through pro-poor urbanization, effective management of rural-urban transitions and investment in sustainable infrastructure

March 28, 2017
UN News , SciDev.Net

Russia Doesn’t Want Anyone to Know About Its HIV Epidemic

In 2015, the number of HIV cases detected in Russia bypassed 1m. According to the latest government data, 103,000 new cases were detected in 2016 alone. But given that only 20% of the population is tested, epidemiologists estimate that the real number of people infected is closer to 1.5m. In a country with a population of 143m, this is enough to declare an epidemic, according to WHO criteria. Even though several regional governments have spoken about an ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis, the federal government continues to deny complete reality

March 24, 2017
Vice.com

India must fight TB harder as disease claims 1,400 every day

India continues to struggle to combat the disease with nearly 41% of TB patients in India failing to get adequate treatment causing nearly 5,000 deaths in the country every

March 24, 2017
Hindu Business Line

The Real Threat to National Security: Deadly Disease

Epidemiologist, Michael T. Osterholm and film maker, Mark Olshaker call U.S. budget proposals to raise military spending but cut funding for health and research bodies tasked with vaccine development, combatting antibiotic resistance and new infectious diseases misguided. They say these agencies fell short in their response to Zika. They wonder if something like H7N9 could be a new pandemic. They say that if left unchecked drug resistant infections will kill more people worldwide than cancer and diabetes combined

March 24, 2017
New York Times

Smog-hit Beijing plans 'green necklace' to block pollution

Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei will plant trees, establish green belts and make use of rivers and wetlands to create a green necklace to protect China’s smog-hot capital from pollution, the Hebei government said

March 23, 2017
Reuters
March 24, 2017
Reuters

Nearly 600 million children to live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040: UNI...

In a new UNICEF report, the writers outlined the scenario where one of four children worldwide will be living in areas where water demand far outstrips supply by 2040

March 22, 2017
News Express , Reuters, The Guardian, bdnews24.com

Peru reels from floods as it waits for end to brutal rainy season

The spectre of diseases thriving amid pools of stagnant water in flooded neighbourhoods is one of a raft of problems Peru faces as it waits for the end of an unusually brutal rainy season. More than 80 people have been killed and 110,000 people displaced in rain-related incidents since December, most of them this month after a sudden warming of Pacific waters off the coast unleashed torrential downpours in a damaging local El Nino phenomenon

March 23, 2017
Reuters
March 24, 2017
La Prensa
March 27, 2017
Diario Correo, Peru Informa

SA holds the key in curing multi-drug resistant TB

South Africa is one of the hardest hit countries by tuberculosis (TB), with more than 450 000 new cases reported each year - new radio interview

March 25, 2017
Ewn.co.za
March 22, 2017
Reuters
March 24, 2017
Hindustan Times
March 23, 2017
SABC News
March 24, 2017
India.com
March 26, 2017
Daily Star Bangladesh
March 27, 2017
Guardian Nigeria

One of the most troubling ideas about climate change just found new evidence in its favor

A  new study says at least in the spring and summer, there is a large scale flow of the atmosphere changing in such a way as to cause the weather systems to get stuck more often. Consequently, the Northern Hemisphere jet stream flow can be affected when the Arctic warms up faster than the equator does and the stream becomes elongated and weakened. That’s when you get weather extremes

March 27, 2017
Washington Post, Phys.Org

Revelan la estructura de una proteína clave en la replicación del virus Zika

Scientists have finally ‘assembled’ the genome of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus, a mosquito that transmits West Nile virus. The new ‘genetic map’ still requires more work but the new study places 94% of the genomes of the two mosquitoes onto three large chromosomes. The genomic replication of the virus is made possible by its NS5 protein. This function of ZIKV NS5 is unique to the virus, making it an ideal target for anti-viral drug development

March 27, 2017
El Correo, O Globo
March 23, 2017
Nature
March 27, 2017
Globo.com, Eureka Alert

41 million people in Nigeria without access to clean water —Water Aid Nigeria

To mark World Water Day, Water Aid Nigeria called for urgent action from the international community and the government to reach the 41m rural people in Nigeria without access to clean water. The organization called on governments to prioritize and fund water, sanitation and hygiene to fulfil fundamental human rights and to build communities’ resilience to extreme weather events and climate change

March 28, 2017
Nigerian Tribune, Nigerian Sun

Opinion: My vision for the WHO

One of the three candidates to become Director General of the World Health Organization talks to devex.com about his vision for the future of the World Health Organization should his campaign turn out successful

March 27, 2017
Devex

Children 'worst sufferers' of environmental degradation: Prez

In inaugurating the ‘World Conference on Environment 2017,’ Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said children ‘were the worst sufferers of adverse impact of pollution and there was an urgent need for an ‘out-of-box’ solution to curb the perils of environmental degradation.’ He added ‘environmental factors are responsible for an estimated 24% of the global burden of disease in terms of healthy life years lost and 23 % of all deaths and 24% of all under 15’s die of diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory disease all of which are environment related’

March 25, 2017
Press Trust of India, ANI News

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just 1 Famine, but 4

The New York Times speaks about ‘another famine tightening its grip on Somalia, but, there also being a real danger that four famines could occur at almost the same time in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen which will endanger more than 20m lives. Finding enough food is only a part of the solution, so water, sanitation, water treatment tablets and hygiene are becoming critical to prevent the large-scale outbreaks of disease from turning from serious to catastrophic in just a small space of time

March 27, 2017
New York Times
March 25, 2017
Asharq Al-Awsat
March 23, 2017
Pulse Nigeria, LA Times

Critical gaps in knowledge of where infectious diseases occur

The scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution has published a joint statement from scientists at the University of Copenhagen and North Carolina State University calling attention to a serious lack of data on the worldwide distribution of disease-causing organisms. Without this data, predicting where and when the next disease outbreak will emerge is inhibited. Macroecologists have the expertise to create the needed data network and close the knowledge gaps. We know less about where disease-causing organisms occur than the global distribution of most mammals, birds and even ants. Without this basic knowledge, it is very hard to predict if, for instance, certain bacteria or parasites transmitted via mosquitoes or other bloodsucking insects are likely to spread or not, and what measures we must take in order to prevent this

June 23, 2017
phys.org
June 22, 2017
Science Daily

Ebola virus burial teams may have 'saved thousands of lives'

New research suggests Red Cross volunteers who helped bury most of the bodies of Ebola victims in West Africa could have prevented more than 10,000 cases of the deadly disease. A major part of the response was ensuring the safe burials of people who had died of Ebola. The bodies of victims were particularly toxic. Community funerals, where people helped wash the bodies of their loved ones, contributed to so many people becoming infected in the earlier stages of the outbreak. The study used statistical modelling to measure the impact of the Red Cross safe and dignified burial programme

June 22, 2017
BBC, Medical Xpress

U.S. supports families affected by HIV/AIDS in Lagos with N2.9 million

The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria has awarded a N2.9 million micro grant to support children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in some part of Lagos state. The Mission gave the grant to 50 women caregivers to support the economic wellbeing of families, especially vulnerable children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, in five local communities in Apapa Local Government Area of Lagos. Under the U.S. Ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program, a local non-governmental organisation, Blissful Life for Women and Children, will train the beneficiaries in business and vocational skills and trade mentorship, and will receive trade articles and supplies

June 23, 2017
Premium Times
June 25, 2017
ntv.co.ug
June 24, 2017
Daily Post

Asian strain of zika virus has mutated: Scientists

In a cause for concern, the Asian strain of zika virus has mutated, the scientists have confirmed. According to Hyderabad doctors, zika virus has been most possibly present in the country for decades, but due to lack of diagnostic facilities at the local level, the disease has gone undetected. Now that the WHO has confirmed the presence of zika virus in Hyderabad, they warn that a strong surveillance is needed to prevent the spread of the virus, particularly in the backdrop of research reports that the Asian strain of zika has mutated. "We have not yet developed widely accessible tests for zika infection. We may, at times miss out the coinfection due to low index of suspicion and poor availability of diagnostic tests," experts warned

June 23, 2017
Times of India

Threadworm infection can lead to active TB

A new study reveals that worm infection might be one of the major risk factors for individuals with latent tuberculosis infection to develop the active disease. The study was carried out in individuals with latent TB co-infected with intestinal worms (Strongyloides stercoralis). The exact cause of antibody increase is not yet fully understood; but the study was able to provide an evidence of a significant association of worm infection with modulation of B cell function

June 24, 2017
The Hindu

Canadian team helps find way to break through armour of dangerous biofilms

Not many Canadians have ever heard of "biofilms," but doctors and infectious diseases experts know them well. The slimy, glue-like sheets of bacteria or fungi can grow on tissues or wounds, forming a protective layer around themselves that make it difficult to kill the infections. Now Canadian researchers say they may have found a way of fighting biofilms by breaking up their protective coatings. The team say they can use enzymes help to "bust up" a biofilm`s shell, or matrix, creating holes that allow antibiotics or the immune system to kill the bacteria or fungi. What`s more, the enzyme technology can also prevent biofilms from forming at all

June 24, 2017
CTV News

Can Synbio Cure Malaria? – Fireside Chat with Oxitec’s CEO Hadyn Parry

Oxitec’s technology hinges on engineering male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which transmit Zika and Dengue, with a ‘self-limiting’ gene causing their offspring to die. Using this approach, the biotech has been able to reduce mosquito populations of the Aedes aegypti species by over 90% by releasing Oxitec’s Friendly Aedes mosquito in field trials in Brazil, the Cayman Islands, and Panama. A massive shift, compared to the 35% reduction that can be achieved using conventional insecticides. Additionally, all of Oxitec’s mosquitoes are equipped with a fluorescent marker that allows to monitor the insects with an app

June 21, 2017
labiotech.eu

Walgreens - Greater Than AIDS - Unite to Serve Against HIV/AIDS

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. recently formed an alliance with Greater Than AIDS, a national public information group, focused on the U.S. domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic. This is not the first time that Walgreens has teamed up with Greater Than AIDS. For the past six years, the companies have been coordinating with health departments and local AIDS service organizations (ASOs) as part of a National HIV Testing Day effort to offer free HIV testing and counseling on prevention strategies, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

June 20, 2017
Nasdaq

AI lab-reader set for hospital trial

Australian-developed technology using artificial intelligence to rapidly diagnose infectious diseases is set for a laboratory trial at St Vincent`s Hospital in Melbourne. Medical technology firm LBT Innovations has developed the APAS Independence instrument, which automatically analyses and interprets growth on microbiology culture plates, enabling faster and more efficient diagnosis and reporting of infectious diseases. The product will be trialled at St Vincent`s Hospital from September, and LBT said it will then be trialled in other laboratories around the world.

June 21, 2017
The West Australian, CIO

Biological fingerprint of tuberculosis meningitis discovered in children

Children with tuberculosis meningitis have a biological fingerprint that can be used to assess the severity of the condition, help decide the best course of treatment, and provide clues for novel treatments

June 21, 2017
Eurekalert

'Remarkable' drop in new HIV cases among men

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, The Guardian
June 23, 2017
The Times

Government asks private clinics to submit list of AIDS patients they are treating

The National Aids Control Organization (NACO) under ministry of health and family welfare has written to all states and Union territories in India to direct private clinics and hospitals in their respective areas to compile and submit a list of HIV/AIDS cases they are treating. The move has been taken in a bid to get a definite data on HIV/AIDS

June 21, 2017
Live Mint

Newly discovered antibiotic could help treat drug-resistant tuberculosis

A newly discovered antibiotic, produced by bacteria from a cystic fibrosis patient, could be used to treat cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The team discovered that one particular species, Burkholderia gladioli, which was isolated from the sputum of a child with cystic fibrosis, produces a new antibiotic they called gladiolin. This compound is similar in structure to another antibiotic that has been investigated for its ability to jam bacterial cell machinery, but gladiolin is much more stable and could therefore potentially be a better drug candidate. Further lab testing also showed that this antibiotic blocked the growth of four drug-resistant TB strains

June 24, 2017
News Medical

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

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
June 23, 2017
Premium Times
June 24, 2017
Daily Post

D.C. reports sharp decline in new HIV infections

In 2007, D.C. residents were diagnosed with HIV at a rate of nearly four per day. That rate dropped to less than one resident per day in 2016. The 74 percent decline in new cases — from 1,333 in 2007 to 347 in 2016 — can be attributed to factors that include a needle-exchange program, condom distribution and increasing use of preventive medication to halt the spread of the disease, city officials

June 27, 2017
Washington Post

WHO for use of devices to test multiple diseases

The World Health Organization released new advice to countries, recommending the use of multi-disease testing devices for Tuberculosis, HIV and Hepatitis. A single device called the GeneXpert can be used to diagnose TB and HIV infections, and quantitatively measure HIV and hepatitis C viral loads. India recently procured 600 GeneXpert machines for the National Tuberculosis programme. “With the power and adaptability of molecular technologies, we are in an era of great advancement for the rapid diagnosis of many diseases using single platforms,” said Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme

June 27, 2017
The Hindu

China helps Guyana battle Zika, other infectious diseases

China has donated at least GYD$20 million in medical equipment to Guyana to aid the fight against Zika and other infectious diseases. The equipment will be used in the Reference Laboratory of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).“I want to thank the Chinese Embassy and the people of China for the continued support in the medical field and look forward to other support for the Reference Laboratory”, Health Minister, Volda Lawrence was quoted in a Ministry of Public Health statement as saying following the signing ceremony at the GPHC

June 27, 2017
Demerarawaves.com

President Trump wants you to know he actually does care about HIV/AIDS

In the nearly eight months since he was elected president, Trump has managed to alienate a diverse range of stakeholders in the healthcare world — from scientists researching autism to parents of children with preexisting conditions. But the backlash from the HIV/AIDS community has been especially fierce. In a very public display of frustration, Scott Schoettes, a former member of PACHA, accused the Trump administration of having “no strategy to address the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic.” Writing in a commentary in Newsweek, he also said Trump and his government have sought zero input from experts on their HIV policy and have pushed legislation that “will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease”

June 27, 2017
Washington Post

Vaccination may be curbing ER visits for shingles

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

Scientists Illuminate Structures Vital to Virus Replication

Scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have, for the first time, imaged molecular structures vital to how a major class of viruses replicates within infected cells. The research uses pioneering cryo-electron tomography to reveal the complex viral replication process in vivid detail, opening up new avenues to potentially disrupt, dismantle or redirect viral machinery

June 28, 2017
Scicasts.com
June 27, 2017
News-Medical.net

Two new cases of the plague have popped up — here's why it keeps appearing in the US

This week, the New Mexico Department of Health confirmed that a 52-year-old woman and a 62-year-old woman were hospitalized with cases of the plague. Both cases were in Santa Fe county. These aren`t isolated incidents — there was another human plague case in Sante Fe county this year and four cases each in New Mexico in 2016 and 2015. There are usually a few plague infections in the US every year, mostly in the West. Plague is a bigger problem in places that have a harder time shutting down outbreaks. In the US, disease detectives try to find every person an infected individual came into contact with. That`s harder in regions with humanitarian crises or ongoing conflicts, according to the World Health Organization

June 28, 2017
Business Insider

Venezuela's latest deadly plight: AIDS

Affordable drugs, education for at-risk groups, free condoms all helped control and reduce the country’s HIV epidemic. Stephanie Nolen, Latin America correspondent for Canada’s Globe & Mail, who covered the AIDS pandemic in Africa more than a decade ago, was recently in Venezuela which she described thus, "There is nowhere in the world today where people are dying of AIDS at the pace and in the sheer numbers that they are in Venezuela: Even the poorest African countries today have HIV treatment programs"

June 27, 2017
USA Today

Study links deforestation and malaria

A new study of 67 less-developed, malaria-endemic nations, titled Anthropogenic Forest Loss and Malaria Prevalence: a Comparative Examination of the Causes and Disease Consequences of Deforestation in Developing Nations, finds a link between deforestation and increasing malaria rates across developing

June 27, 2017
Phys.org

Sun Pharma joins hands with NIV

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

Top malaria drug losing potency, experts want it replaced

Health experts have warned that Kenya’s number one malaria treatment drug is no longer effective. Speaking at a forum, the scientists said AL— the first line malaria medicine in Kenya—should be replaced with the second line drug called DP which previous studies have shown is more effective. On Friday the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) released a statement saying the world’s most effective medicine against uncomplicated malaria is losing its edge. The Kemri statement was based on a four-year study in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. The results were presented in Arusha during a meeting of the East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project

June 25, 2017
Standard Digital

Govt lacks tools to stem virus infection cases: Health officials

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

Malnutrition, lack of hygiene add to Tuberculosis risk

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

Malaria ‘epidemic’ looms as mosquitoes defy insecticides

According to a study, genetic analysis of mosquito populations in Africa shows that recent success in controlling malaria through treated bed nets has led to widespread insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. Previous research indicates there are four classes of insecticides recommended for malaria control of which only pyrethroid was approved for use on LLIN. It has been shown that the loss of this insecticide’s effectiveness will lead to increase in preventable deaths, particularly in the most vulnerable groups, hence the need to maintain the effectiveness of LLIN in an era of growing resistance

June 26, 2017
guardian.ng

Lawmakers push White House for action after HIV panel resignations

The leaders of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus are demanding answers from the White House after a mass exodus from a presidential advisory group. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the co-chairs of that group, delivered a letter last week to President Trump that called for the White House to back off proposed budget cuts to HIV/AIDS programs, revamp the currently blank website it scrubbed in January, and to appoint a national AIDS policy director, all after six council members jointly resigned

June 26, 2017
Stat News

SA/Japan Collaboration on Early Warning System for Malaria – CSIR

South Africa has experienced an unprecedented outbreak of malaria in several districts in Limpopo this year. The CSIR-hosted Alliance for Collaboration on Climate and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS) Programme, in collaboration with researchers in Japan, have studied the malaria outbreak in Limpopo, as well as worldwide climate phenomena and discovered that there is an association between climate change and malaria

June 27, 2017
Political Analysis South Africa

Cameroon's sex workers brush off beatings to send clients for HIV tests

While one in 25 people in Cameroon are living with HIV, more than a third of the country`s sex workers are infected, meaning they hold the key to halting the spread of the virus. Despite the frequent insults, threats and attacks, sex workers are helping to save the lives of their clients from the Central African nation`s biggest killer - HIV. Sex workers are persuading these men to take free HIV tests in mobile clinics, set up inside or nearby brothels and run by teams of doctors, nurses, social workers and lab technicians

June 26, 2017
Trust.org

Trial to examine effect of Zika in infants, young children infected postnatally

A new trial funded by the NIH will examine the impact of Zika virus infection on early brain development in infants and young children in rural Guatemala who were infected after birth. It will include a cohort of approximately 300 infants and young children under 5 who acquired Zika or dengue virus infection, as well as a cohort of 500 new borns without Zika virus infection and a sibling cohort of approximately 400 young children. Researchers will follow the participants for at least 1 year to compare the outcomes of Zika-infected participants with those of non-Zika-infected participants who will be screened for a wide ranging set of neurologic issues

June 20, 2017
Healio
June 19, 2017
Stat News

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

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, Miami Herald, USA Today, Newsweek

Scientists kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes with genetically engineered fungi

A genetically engineered fungus, designed to produce toxins from spiders and scorpions, could effectively kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes, according to a new study. The fungus involved is known as Metarhizium pingshaensei, a natural killer of mosquitoes that was originally isolated from a mosquito. To boost its deadly power, researchers engineered the fungus to include several genes that express neurotoxins from spider and scorpion. "Our most potent fungal strains are able to kill mosquitoes with a single spore," a co-author of the paper, said. "We also reported that our transgenic fungi stop mosquitoes from blood feeding. This means our fungal strains prevent transmission of disease by more than 90 percent of mosquitoes after just five days"

June 14, 2017
Xinhuanet
June 13, 2017
UPI, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, International Business Times

Johnson & Johnson's flu drug succeeds in mid-stage trial

J&J said trial data showed that treatment with pimodivir alone resulted in a statistically significant reduction in viral load in patients over seven days from the start of dosing, when compared with a placebo. Adding pimodivir to oseltamivir also resulted in a significantly lower viral load compared to those who received pimodivir alone, the company added. Pimodivir was granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration`s "fast-track" status in March due to its potential to address medication for patients who develop the influenza A infection and are hospitalized, or are at high risk of related complications

June 14, 2017
Reuters

Transparent communication holds key to infectious disease control

There were a number of reasons for the heavier-than-expected number of cases from MERS in South Korea two years ago, but none were more important than transparent communication, or the lack thereof, participants at a workshop agreed. Park Ki-soo, the spokesperson for Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), said, “If we had released the right information at the right time to the right people, I predict that we would have had less than 100 infected patients”

June 14, 2017
Korea Biomed

More pregnant women getting whooping cough vaccine

Babies are much less likely to get whooping cough if their mothers get vaccinated against the potentially fatal respiratory infection during pregnancy, and a U.S. study finds that a growing number of women are starting to follow this advice. About 49 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. got the Tdap booster vaccine against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis last year, up from just 27 percent in 2014, the study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found

June 15, 2017
Reuters

New flu test: One drop of blood could save your life

Researchers have developed a world-first blood test to predict which flu patients will develop potentially life-threatening secondary infections that demand urgent medical treatment. The High-risk Influenza Screen Test (HIST) measures `an early warning signal` released by the patient`s body into their blood to `kick start` their immune system`s fight against the infection. The test, developed by Dr Benjamin Tang -- a doctor from the Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Nepean Hospital and medical researcher at Westmead Institute for Medical Research -- needs only a single drop of blood and a few hours to predict, with 91 percent accuracy, which influenza patients will develop potentially deadly secondary infections, such as pneumonia

June 15, 2017
Science Daily

Unproven Treatments for 'Chronic Lyme Disease' Lead to Severe Infections

In a small but growing number of cases, people in the U.S. have suffered severe bacterial infections, bone damage or septic shock — all because of treatments they received for "chronic Lyme disease." The health care providers who diagnose these patients typically treat them with prolonged courses of antibiotics, lasting months or even years, a report said. That happens even though at least five studies have shown that such courses of antibiotics do not help people who have this diagnosis, according to the report. Moreover, taking antibiotics for that long can result in serious harm

June 15, 2017
Live Science

Bhutan and Maldives eliminate measles - WHO

Bhutan and the Maldives have eliminated measles, becoming the first countries in their region to eliminate the highly infectious disease that is a major child killer globally, the World Health Organization said. The milestone was reached after no measles cases originating in the Maldives had been recorded since 2009 and none in Bhutan since 2012, the WHO said

June 13, 2017
Reuters, Yenisafak
June 14, 2017
China Post

Pfizer to help raise awareness around infectious diseases in the UAE

Pfizer has linked up with the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to improve awareness around infectious diseases. The joint initiative aims to highlight how such diseases can be prevented and combated while also looking at promoting vaccination programs. The scope of the agreement also covers ‘medical professional training as an effective strategy to identify and implement preventive measures and minimize risk exposure’

June 13, 2017
Healthcare Global, Trade Arabia, Albawaba

Decline in infrastructure, support systems hampering HIV fight in SA

In a new report, UNAIDS cautioned that while new HIV infections had fallen dramatically in the past two decades, especially among children, the trend among adults has stalled and even risen in a number of places over the past five years. Cuts in foreign aid will have an impact on the national fight against HIV/Aids, but the decline in South Africa’s critical infrastructure and support systems has an equally negative effect on eradicating the disease. “Structural issues need to be addressed by government. You can’t do Aids prevention when people are hungry, homeless or unemployed” UNAIDS said

June 13, 2017
The Citizen, The Citizen, Oscar OFM

Three mutations could make bird flu a potential pandemic: study

Scientists have identified three mutations that, if they occurred at the same time in nature, could turn a strain of bird flu now circulating in China into a potential pandemic virus that could spread among people. The flu strain, known as H7N9, now mostly infects birds but it has infected at least 779 people in outbreaks in and around China, mainly related to poultry markets. Researchers led by James Paulson of the Scripps Research Institute in California looked at mutations that could potentially take place in the H7N9 virus`s genome. The team`s findings, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, showed that in laboratory tests, mutations in three amino acids made the virus more able to bind to human cells - suggesting these changes are key to making the virus more dangerous to people

June 15, 2017
Reuters
June 16, 2017
New Delhi Times

Congenital Zika Syndrome Linked with Dysphagia in Infants

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report on a study that has linked congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) with dysphagia, or trouble swallowing, in 9 Brazilian infants. The report was published in Emerging Infectious Diseases. “All infants had a degree of neurologic damage, with global developmental delays, hypertonia of the limbs, and pyramidal and extrapyramidal signs,” according to the report. Furthermore, the majority of the infants also had “abnormal movement of the tongue,” which contributed to dysphagia. In some of the infants, hypertonia was responsible for abnormal posture and neck hyperextension

June 16, 2017
Contagion Live

New research finds light treatment may reduce mosquito bites at night

Scientists have found that exposure to just 10 minutes of light at night suppresses biting and manipulates flight behaviour of malaria mosquitoes. The findings, published in the journal Parasites and Vectors, suggest that light can be used to manipulate mosquitoes, thereby offering a potential novel solution to preventing bites and reducing malaria

June 19, 2017
Hindustan Times
June 18, 2017
News Nation

FDA approves new antibiotic to treat serious skin infections

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

Researchers develop new concept to predict universal anti-influenza drugs

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

85% Raj rural women don’t know about HIV/AIDS

High migratory population in the state makes Rajasthan vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. But a matter of even more serious concern is that the percentage of women with comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS is quite low there. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) (2015-16), only 19.1% of women have comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS. The situation is even worse in rural areas, where only 14.7% of women (age 15-49 years) have comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS

June 19, 2017
Times of India

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

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

Trump Doesn’t Care About HIV. We’re Outta Here

Scott A. Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, writes: “Five of my colleagues and I resigned this week from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care. The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and—most concerning—pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease”

June 16, 2017
Newsweek
June 17, 2017
Buzzfeed
June 18, 2017
Independent, Huffington Post

Nsanje children scrambling for integrated Measles Rubella vaccine

A campaign which is underway across Malawi, aiming to reduce measles and rubella incidents, is targeting children born after the previous measles campaign, vaccinating those who were missed during routine immunization, covering children inadequately covered by routine immunization and vaccinating those who never had measles-rubella vaccine

June 16, 2017
Nyasa Times

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

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, Zee News

FG Declares Nigeria Meningitis Free

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

Scientists plan to trick Zika-carrying mosquitoes into breeding themselves out of existence

This summer, a Silicon Valley tech company will have millions of machine-raised, bacteria-infected mosquitoes packed into windowless white vans, driven inland and released into the streets of Fresno, Calif. This year`s mosquitoes are being bred and distributed by Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet that was formerly known as Google Life Sciences. Verily officials estimate that they will release 1 million mosquitoes per week in Fresno County, more than 25 times last summer`s numbers

July 20, 2017
Washington Post
July 14, 2017
Verily.com
July 21, 2017
npr.org

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

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

OraSure Technologies Receives World Health Organization Prequalification of OraQuick® HIV Self-...

OraSure Technologies announced that its OraQuick® HIV Self-Test (HIVST) has been Prequalified by the World Health Organization. The OraQuick HIV Self-Test is a rapid, point-of-care test that allows an individual to detect antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 with a simple oral swab and provides a result in as little as 20 minutes at home, at outreach testing settings, or at community based screening events

July 21, 2017
Nasdaq, IP-Watch.org

Genetic variation linked to greater tuberculosis susceptibility

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, News-Medical.net

Brazil risks rodent-borne Hantavirus rise due to sugarcane, climate change: scientists

The risk of being infected by Hantavirus could jump in Brazil`s Sao Paulo state as climate change sends temperatures higher and farmers grow more sugarcane, said scientists. More effective health education and pest control could help cut the risk of the disease in the area, along with forest restoration and better land use. The virus, which can be inhaled or caught via contact with rodent droppings or urine, causes Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome which is fatal in more than half of cases

July 20, 2017
Reuters
July 21, 2017
International Business Times

How Cows Are Helping the Fight Against HIV

Scientists estimate that only about 20% of people who are infected with HIV produce broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs): naturally occurring antibodies that can defend a cell against the virus. Even among people who do produce them, that production typically starts around two years after infection. Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Texas A&M University showed that they were able to induce potent antibodies against HIV in cows. Though cows do not get HIV, their immune systems produce unique antibodies against infections

July 20, 2017
Time
July 21, 2017
Philly.com

UC Berkeley, biotech firm develop new test differentiating Zika from other viruses

An antibody-based test, developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Humabs BioMed, is able to determine if a person`s infection is from the Zika virus or another virus of the same family, such as dengue and West Nile viruses. Hailed by the researchers as the best-to-date test in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses, the new assay is currently in the licensing process

July 20, 2017
Xinhuanet.com
July 18, 2017
Science Daily, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

GeneXpert for Tuberculosis can detect viral load in HIV: Study

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

Battle against malaria: Fighting mosquitoes that killed 24,000 Indians in 2015

The Indian Space Research Organisation is providing remote-sensing technology to detect, map and classify mosquito breeding areas in the country, the latest in India’s war against the disease that is believed to have killed an estimated 24,000 people in the country in 2015. The number of officially recorded deaths for the year is, however, 384

July 18, 2017
Hindustan Times

Hepatitis B affects 3.5 million Ugandans

Ugandan government figures show the prevalence rate of Hepatitis is 10% compared to the 7.3% of HIV/AIDs in Uganda. One of the biggest challenges in the fight against the disease is that people who test positive and are referred for treatment do not even know where to go. There are few available facilities for testing Hepatitis viral load across the country and they are very expensive with poorly trained staff

July 20, 2017
New Vision

WHO urges action against HIV drug resistance threat

WHO alerts countries to the increasing trend of resistance to HIV drugs detailed in a report based on national surveys conducted in several countries. The HIV drug resistance report 2017 shows that in 6 of the 11 countries surveyed in Africa, Asia and Latin America, over 10% of people starting antiretroviral therapy had a strain of HIV that was resistant to some of the most widely used HIV medicines. Once the threshold of 10% has been reached, WHO recommends those countries urgently review their HIV treatment programmes

July 20, 2017
World Health Organization, Reuters, Time, BBC

500,000 Malaysians likely have hepatitis C

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

10 die of TB every day in Delhi, finds NGO

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

July 27, 2017
Times Of India, India Times, Business Standard

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

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

July 28, 2017
Times of India

Ghana’s infant malaria prevalence rate down to 21 percent

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, Pulse.com
July 27, 2017
Ghana News Agency

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

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

July 28, 2017
India.com, The Health Site

Vaccine lessens severity of whooping cough infections

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

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Swaziland Cuts HIV Infection Rate in Half

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

July 24, 2017
VOA News

Hopes for HIV cure revived by African child in remission

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

July 24, 2017
Reuters

HIV fight advances with new drug cocktails, fresh vaccine hopes

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

New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

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

July 24, 2017
Science Daily

Philippines trials anti-HIV drug as cases hit record high

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

July 26, 2017
Trust.org

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

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, vox.com
July 25, 2017
dnaindia.com

Map drawn to predict next virus jump from mammals

A study has suggested that scientists could predict where on the planet the next virus could jump from animals to humans, thus providing data that will help in early warning systems and disease surveillance efforts. The study helps build a roadmap of where to prioritise disease surveillance efforts around the world to better stop viruses from having a large impact. In the study, the scientists have mapped out the ‘missing zoonoses’ giving geographic hotspots as eastern, central and southern Africa, South and Central America as well as parts of Asia

July 7, 2017
scidev.net

Undersea life holds promise for killing tuberculosis

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, Infection Control Today

New Cornell discovery could lead to effective treatment for tuberculosis

The mechanisms of how Mtb bacteria assimilate the host`s fatty acids have remained a mystery until now. Using a genetic screen, scientists identified genes involved in cholesterol metabolism. This identified the gene LucA. Further work determined that LucA interacts with subunits of specific proteins in the Mce1 and Mce4 complexes, which import fatty acids and cholesterol, respectively

July 7, 2017
News Medical

NIH launches prospective study of Zika and HIV co-infection during pregnancy

The National Institutes of Health has launched a study to determine the potential risks that infection with the Zika virus might pose for pregnancies in which the mother is also infected with HIV. At this point, little is known about whether Zika virus infection poses additional risks for maternal or infant health in pregnancies already complicated by HIV. Researchers hope the new study will provide information on whether infection with one of these viruses might increase the risk for infection with the other

July 10, 2017
National Institutes of Health

Rwanda Begins Massive Vaccination Against Hepatitis

Rwanda has started offering free diagnosis and vaccination against the deadly Hepatitis B disease. Several points have been set up by Rwanda Biomedical centre to conduct this massive exercise at Centre de Jeunes in Kimisagara, Amahoro stadium, Bumbogo stadium in Gasabo district, IPRC-ETO Kicukiro and at Masaka hospital. Rwanda considers Hepatitis B a dangerous health hazard currently killing millions around the world

July 10, 2017
KTpress.rw

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

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

WHO's Recommended Treatment To Tackle Tuberculosis Not Yet Implemented

India may be sitting on the edge of yet another tuberculosis epidemic. India accounts for 2.8 million of the 10.4 million new tuberculosis cases globally, according to the World Health Organisation Global TB Report 2016. WHO revised its estimates in 2016 after improved surveillance data from India and found a 34% spike in new cases. Amongst this the cases for Multi Drug Resistant TB have also risen

July 6, 2017
NDTV.com

New DNA vaccine shown to induce immune response against one of four Dengue virus serotypes

A new DNA vaccine candidate was shown to induce persistent humoral and cellular immune responses and provided protection from the DV1 dengue virus serotype among inoculated mice, according to a recent study conducted by Capital Medical University in Beijing and the Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders

July 6, 2017
Homeland Preparedness News
June 29, 2017
Science Daily

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

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, Gulf Times, Bloomberg

Nigeria adopts shorter treatment for drug-resistant Tuberculosis

Nigeria has adopted a new regimen that reduces the time required for the treatment of multi-drug-resistant TB from 20 months to about nine months.The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, flagged off the regimen when he commissioned the first extensive drug-resistant Tuberculosis ward and fully-equipped MDR ward at the University College Hospital, UCH, in Ibadan, Oyo State

July 4, 2017
Premium Times
July 7, 2017
TV 360 Nigeria

Who proposes to change the composition of influenza vaccines

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

New method to fight malaria found by scientists

Scientists have discovered a new way to slow down malaria infections, providing a possible new target for antimalarial drugs. The team are already working with pharmaceutical companies to use this knowledge to develop new anti-malarials -- an important step in the battle against drug resistant malaria

July 6, 2017
Science Daily

New report reveals that countries are still not tackling tuberculosis

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, MSF.org

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

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

Meningitis shot also offers some defence against gonorrhoea, study finds

Researchers studying a mass vaccination campaign against meningitis have found a surprising side effect - the shots also offered moderate protection against gonorrhoea. The findings, published in The Lancet medical journal, mark the first time an immunization has shown any protection against gonorrhoea and point to new avenues in the search for a gonorrhoea vaccine, scientists said

July 11, 2017
Reuters
July 12, 2017
ggg.at

NGO says 18 people succumb to tuberculosis every day

Estimating that Mumbai has witnessed at least 32,862 deaths due to tuberculosis since 2012, NGO Praja shared projections that 18 people succumb to the infectious disease every day. Cases of tuberculosis have risen from 36,417 in 2012-13 to 50,001 in 2016-17, information obtained through the Right to Information law from government hospitals, dispensaries and clinics in Mumbai showed

July 13, 2017
Indian Express, NDTV, Times of India

Emerging infectious diseases, One Health and India

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

Indian scientists develop new method of combating tuberculosis, identify molecules that inhibit ...

A group of Indian scientists have identified molecules which are effective in inhibiting the growth of tuberculosis-causing bacteria - Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The molecules target an important gene, IdeR, which is essential for the survival of the bacteria. This development could lead to new drugs against TB in future

July 17, 2017
First Post.com

1 in 10 Babies Received No Vaccinations in 2016

Nearly one in 10 infants worldwide, or 12.9 million, received no vaccinations in 2016, the WHO said. Those infants missed the critical first dose of the triple vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. An additional 6.6 million infants who received the first dose didn`t receive the other two doses in the three-dose series last year. "Since 2010, the percentage of children who received their full course of routine immunizations has stalled at 86 percent, with no significant changes in any countries or regions during the past year," WHO said. "This falls short of the global immunization coverage target of 90 percent"

July 17, 2017
VOA News.com, Newsweek, CIDRAP

Increase in pertussis outbreaks linked with vaccine exemptions, waning immunity

A significant jump in the number of pertussis cases in the U.S. may be due to increasing numbers of nonmedical vaccine exemptions as well as waning immunity among those who have been vaccinated, according to a new study from Harvard researchers. The number of cases started creeping back up in the 1980s and 1990s, then increased dramatically in the mid-2000s. In 2012, there were 48,000 reported cases of pertussis in the U.S.—the highest number since 1955

July 11, 2017
Harvard School of Public Health

Tech companies wage war on disease-carrying mosquitoes

American technology companies are bringing automation and robotics to the age-old task of battling mosquitoes in a bid to halt the spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne maladies worldwide. Firms including Microsoft and California life sciences company Verily are forming partnerships with public health officials in several U.S. states to test new high-tech tools

July 11, 2017
Reuters
July 14, 2017
Bloomberg

Tamil Nadu not granting licence to private hospitals to screen the Zika virus

A health department official told The New Indian Express that some private hospitals had contacted them for a licence to screen Zika virus but the official said that if the license is granted, some private hospitals might misuse it to fleece patients. As per protocol, patients with complaints of fever and fatigue are to be tested for diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria, jaundice, typhoid and leptospirosis. If doctors observe symptoms similar to dengue or chikungunya but tests are negative, blood samples are sent for the Zika test

July 12, 2017
The News Minute

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

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
July 13, 2017
Slate

How Did Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever Pop Up In Spain?

In 2016, two cases cropped up in Spain. Up to a third of patients die, usually within two weeks of contracting the disease. There`s no vaccine. This was the first time the disease had shown up in Western Europe in two people who had not travelled to an area where the fever is endemic. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers speculate that the ticks carrying the virus sneaked into Europe by latching on to migrating birds from Morocco or imported livestock

July 13, 2017
NPR.org

Malaria genome study reveals savvy, finely tuned parasite

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

New Hepatitis C Infections Reach 15-Year High

Preliminary surveillance data released by the CDC shows that the number of reported hepatitis C virus cases has almost tripled in number from 2011-15 reaching a 15 year high. The CDC attributes the rising numbers among younger individuals primarily to injection drug use related to the ongoing opioid epidemic in the USA. However, younger individuals are not the most affected by HCV, Baby Boomers are

May 12, 2017
Contagion Live
May 13, 2017
Debate
May 12, 2017
Last Minute
May 11, 2017
Bloomberg

More than 1 mn tuberculosis patients lack adequate nutrition

Undernutrition increases the severity of TB, reduces a patients’ speed of recovery, and increases their chances of suffering side effects from the medicine, and the likelihood of their becoming one of the 480,000 Indian lives that TB claims each year

May 13, 2017
Financial Express, The Quint, Hindustan Times, Business Standard

Ebola vaccine could get first real-world test in emerging outbreak

An outbreak of Ebola in the DRC was confirmed by the World Health Organization on 12th May. Now health officials are considering whether to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine against the outbreak, for the first time since the WHO gave its preliminary approval in April. The aid group MSF is discussing a potential vaccination campaign with the Congolese government, an MSF spokesperson says. This would require the approval of the WHO, which has not yet decided whether to call on the approved experimental vaccine or others in development

May 12, 2017
Nature

West Africa Ebola vaccine trial aims to strengthen local health systems

Health experts say they are confident that West African countries whose health systems were crippled by the 2014 Ebola crisis are able to conduct meaningful research in the phase two critical trial of Ebola vaccine candidates, now underway. The trials in Guinea, Liberia and later Sierra Leone, are testing three vaccination strategies and two vaccines to identify which holds the most promise

May 12, 2017
Devex

Engineer advocates ban of pit latrine

Business Ghana features a story with engineering experts calling for a legislative instrument asking for a ban on the construction and use of pit latrines for local communities. It argues that poor use and maintenance of these latrines were the causes of cholera outbreaks and other intestinal diseases. Dubbed the ‘Community Led Total Sanitation’ programme, it is backed by World Vision International Ghana

May 10, 2017
Business Ghana

Private providers sense opportunity in Africa healthcare

A 2012 report by IFC estimated the market for healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa would more than double to $35bn by 2016. In the decade to 2020, it said some $25bn-$30bn would be needed in investment in physical healthcare assets alone, including hospitals and clinics. Now it is now longer just about communicable diseases, as it was believed to be five years ago. As lifestyles change and diseases of affluence gain traction private providers in Africa sense an opportunity as most African healthcare systems are developing from a woefully low base

May 10, 2017
Financial Times

Philips Partnership with Kenya and the UN will Advance Healthcare Agenda

Royal Philips announced its support for a new Kenyan government and UN initiative aimed at strengthening primary and community healthcare in Africa. Philips is the first private sector partner to establish an SDG Partnership Platform in Kenya for accelerating primary healthcare trans formation in support of universal healthcare coverage

May 10, 2017
Africa Science News

China says Taiwan health not at risk by absence from U.N. meeting

China says Taiwan health is not at risk by its absence from the World Health Assembly meeting as there is no barrier to technical or medical exchanges. Taiwan accuses China of politicizing health and putting the health of people on the island at risk and says it will send a delegation even if it has no official invitation. Both Japan and the U.S. support Taiwan’s World Health Assembly bid to attend

May 10, 2017
Reuters
May 9, 2017
Reuters, Reuters
May 10, 2017
Reuters
May 9, 2017
South China Morning Post, Focus Taiwan, China Post

People With HIV Are Living 10 Years Longer

More people are living longer lives with HIV, according to a new report published in the Lancet HIV that includes data from more than 88,000 people from 18 countries. People who contracted the virus in recent years are living 10 years longer than people who were infected in the mid-1990s. The report indicates the introduction of anti-HIV drugs beginning in the early 1990s has played a large role in helping people live longer with HIV 

May 10, 2017
Time
May 13, 2017
CNEWS Matin

In Chhattisgarh, HIV-positive women give birth to healthy babies

During 2016-17 multi-medicine treatment was administered on the 219 pregnant women who had been found to be HIV positive. Anti-retroviral medicines were provided and the pregnancies monitored through public sector hospitals. After delivery 213 of the 219 women gave birth to healthy babies

May 14, 2017
The Hindu, News Nation

U.S. pledges $526 million aid in 2017 to Tanzania to fight AIDS

The U.S. approved $526m in aid to Tanzania over the coming year to expand the roll-out of life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs to people infected with HIV. Some 1.4m Tanzanians are estimated to be living with HIV in an nation of around 50m people, with about 850,000 of them currently on anti-retrovirals (ARVs). The funds were donated through the PEPFAR programme

May 18, 2017
Reuters

Researchers discover first human antibodies that work against all ebolaviruses

After analysing the blood of a survivor of the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak, a team of scientists from academia, industry and the government has discovered the first natural human antibodies that can neutralize and protect animals against all three major disease causing ebolaviruses. The findings, published online today in the journal Cell, could lead to the first broadly effective ebolavirus therapies and vaccines

May 18, 2017
EurekAlert

Govt Details $460 Million Plan to Combat HIV/AIDS

According to the Myanmar government there are around 200,000 people living with HIV and 115,000 who receive antiretroviral treatment. The government will contribute 18% of the budget to a programme to combat HIV with the rest of the money coming from international organizations and NGOs, including the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Three Millennium Goals Development Fund and the relevant UN agencies

May 18, 2017
Irrawady News

Malaria Remains Endemic in Indonesia

Based on data from the Ministry of Health, malaria is still endemic in the provinces of Papua, East Nusa, Maluka, North Maluka and West Papua, because the elimination achievement of this deadly disease in these five provinces is still zero percent. Papua province is still the largest contributor to the deadly disease. East Nusa Tengara Province has recorded as many as 29,000 malaria cases in these islands since 2016

May 18, 2017
Tempo

Investment in health is the foundation for sustainable development

The incoming head of The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Marike Wijnroks, writes an opinion article for the Thomson Reuters Foundation in which she makes a case for the three pillars that make up the development agenda: improving sustainability, building resilience and assuming responsibility. Ensuring their application to public health and global health security mitigates the vulnerability to disease which can cause catastrophic loss of life and social upheaval

May 19, 2017
Trust.org

Video: India's battle against 'superbugs'

France24 looks briefly back at the case of NDM-1 and its various mutations which spread to over 70 countries while authorities argued over its name. It points out India was losing nearly 52,000 newborn infants to antibiotic resistance each year. It emphasized how easy it is to buy antibiotics over the counter in any pharmacy in India and the urgent need to educate people about antibiotic resistance and its dangers

May 19, 2017
France24

China Offers Anti Malaria To Five Million In Africa

China has recently declared as part of its new health commitments to provide Africa with the popular anti-malaria medication, Artemisinin, for five million people. It said it will lend support to build health systems and policies in the areas of disease surveillance, strengthening of prevention and treatment of malaria and other communicable diseases, improvement of maternal and child healthcare and reproductive health

May 18, 2017
Leadership Nigeria

Commitment at all levels is essential for prevention of Dengue: Nadda

Union Minister of health and Family Welfare, JP Nadda, said commitment at all levels is essential for prevention and control of dengue, adding that by working together dengue can be prevented. For this purpose cleanliness is the most important thing. National Dengue Day is an occasion to spread awareness about its prevention and control. We must not create an environment for the dengue to breed in

May 16, 2017
Business Standard, Outlook India

Liberia: UNAIDS, Chinese Television Giant Sign Agreement for HIV Awareness in Africa

Star Times, a Chinese digital television provider, and UNAIDS, have signed an agreement to increase awareness of HIV through its broadcast networks and to reduce the stigma and discrimination against those living with HIV throughout the African continent 

May 15, 2017
allafrica.com, Front Page Africa

HIV/AIDS mortality rate surges by 11pc, says report

The mortality rate for HIV/Aids in Pakistan has surged despite receiving more funds than demanded to stem the spread of the disease, says the report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. It said that there has been an 11% increase in the mortality rate in Pakistan, whereas, worldwide, deaths due to the disease declined at a rate of 1.5% between 2000 and 2013

May 14, 2017