The African diaspora in the UK could play a key role in malaria prevention awareness in countries where the disease is endemic In 2011, the UK's Health Protection Agency recorded 1,677 cases of malaria in the country.
Threatened reductions in foreign aid from the European Union and its struggling governments could undermine efforts to combat malaria, a readily preventable disease that nonetheless takes a heavy health toll in poor nations, international health experts say.
Jane Parry investigates whether genomics can help developing countries face their growing burden of disease
Even though genomics could be of a great help, for instances in order to identify risk factors for multiple diseases, developing countries face many barriers to their adoption (financial, legal, political). In addition, poor governance raises ethical, trust and confidentiality issues.
Gunmen in Pakistan have mounted fresh attacks on health workers carrying out polio vaccinations, taking the death toll to nine and prompting UNICEF and WHO to suspend work on a campaign opposed by the Taliban.
Rumours about polio drops being a plot to sterilise Muslims have long dogged efforts to tackle the disease in Pakistan, but suspicion of vaccination programmes intensified after the jailing of a doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011 using a hepatitis campaign.
Paola Rattu's insight:
Another example of how complot theorists can promote violence. Nevertheless, we should think about the fact that funds could be distributed in a different way, allowing public health campaigns to be carried at the national level and by local practicioners...
There has been progress in Ethiopia, and the government is to be commended for establishing a policy to provide free delivery services for all women. Many of the facilities that IntraHealth supports deliver more babies than the national average for health facilities but still lag behind where we would like to see them. The purpose of our gender assessment was to identify why more women do not give birth in health facilities. We carried out 25 focus group discussions in two regions and six sites with female and male health service and non-service users, as well as with providers and local religious leaders.
So why, despite the risks of home birth and the benefits of institutional delivery, are most women in Ethiopia still giving birth at home?
Across the board, the number-one barrier identified by all of the focus groups was disrespect and abuse of pregnant women in health facilities. Or, more accurately, gender-based violence against pregnant women in health facilities (more on that later). Group members mentioned this barrier far more often than either geographic or financial barriers.
A student and volunteer on a polio vaccination programme has been murdered by gunmen in an eastern Afghan village, leaving many women too frightened to attend work and school, according to a member of parliament for the area.
The violent deaths of women often go unreported or unresolved in Afghanistan, a country where senior clerics this year described them as "secondary" to men.
Heather Barr, Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: "The small number of cases of prosecution of violence against women speaks to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of police and prosecutors to get to the bottom of these cases."
Vector control, including the use of bed nets, is recommended as a possible strategy for eliminating lymphatic filariasis (LF) in post-conflict countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This study examined the geographical factors that influence community bed net coverage in DRC in order to identify the hard-to-reach areas that need to be better targeted. In particular, urban/rural differences and the influence of population density, proximity to cities and health facilities, plus access to major transport networks were investigated.
Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to see a more than 200 percent increase in the number of older people living with HIV in the next 30 years, thanks to improvements in lifesaving treatment, experts said Thursday. "The proportion of people living with HIV aged 50 and over is going to increase a lot," Robert Cumming of the school of public health at the University of Sydney said at a conference on ageing in Africa. Three million people aged 50 or older currently live with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and that figure is expected to rise to 9.1 million by 2040.
"HIV positive elderly would need special attention because they seem to start ARV treatment very late," said Liotta.
Anti-AIDS data and policy efforts in Africa have overwhelmingly focused on the 15- to 49-year-old grouping. Older people know less about the disease and are less likely to be tested, and face difficulties with access to care, said Cumming.
An analysis by HelpAge International found only 68 of 119 country progress reports submitted to United Nations agency UNAIDS had some data or reference to older people. Only four had details on prevalence for those living with HIV. "The lack of data just means we don't have a clear picture of what's happening in relation to HIV and ageing and that means that we can't respond appropriately," said the NGO's Rachel Albone.
Dans un rapport publié aujourd’hui (« Like a Death Sentence : Abuses against Persons with Mental Disabilities in Ghana »), Human Right Watch souligne les abus commis à l’encontre des personnes atteintes d’handicaps mentaux.
Le gouvernement ghanéen ne soutient guère ces personnes dans leur vie quotidienne, où elles sont victimes d’abus de la part des camps de prière (centres de guérison spirituelle), et au sein des établissements psychiatriques, dans lesquels elles sont bien souvent internées contre leur gré. Au Ghana, les personnes atteintes d’un handicap mental seraient 3 millions, dont 1 millier de personnes accueillies dans les trois hôpitaux publics du pays.
“Mass drug administration” is easy if your target is elementary school students. It’s harder when you want to reach nearly everyone else in a country of 10 million people.
That is the goal Haiti set this year in its campaign against a parasitic infection called lymphatic filariasis that is present in 80 percent of the country. Spread by mosquitoes, in severe cases it leads to permanent swelling of an arm or leg. That condition, called “elephantiasis,” can be grotesque and life-changing. In men, the worms can cause a swelling of the scrotum that is even more stigmatizing.
Developing countries urged to prepare for population ageing as study predicts they will house four out of five over-60s by 2050. Countries with ageing populations can reap a "longevity dividend" with the right measures on healthcare, pensions etc...
Much e-waste recycling occurs in the informal sector, in homes where women and children are engaged in unsafe recycling practices without the benefit or the knowledge of exposure-minimising technology or protective equipment.
In response to the lack of specific data and little awareness from public health on the effect of e-waste on children's health, the WHO department of Public Health and Environment (PHE) is developing a specific plan of action.
The implications of shift from disease control to elimination are considerable, as has been the case with the objective to eliminate onchocerciasis (better known as river blindness) by 2025, decided by the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) back in 2009. Controlling the disease only required river blindness to fall to prevalence levels where it is no longer a public health problem, but with elimination, every last case must be tracked down. As one expert put it: "Before, we'd see a few red dots on the map and we'd sleep well; but now, every red dot makes us feel further away from elimination."
"International financial support aimed at counteracting the world's 'neglected diseases' increased by nearly a half-billion dollars over the past five years, according to new research released Monday, but changing funding dynamics could already be having a negative impact on the development of cures for diseases that affect a substantial proportion of the world's poor," Inter Press Service reports. "While funding for these diseases had begun to pick up, the new Global Funding of Innovation for Neglected Diseases (G-FINDER) report [.pdf] finds that this assistance has decreased again following the international financial crisis," the news service writes, adding, "More worrying, funding for research into these diseases remains highly dependent on a tiny number of players," including the U.S.
"I've been in Darfur, in Burma, and I couldn't believe this. It's the biggest disaster I've seen," says Elias Pavlopoulos, the head of mission for Médecins sans Frontières (MSF).
Startling words, but perhaps not surprising of a sub-Saharan African nation whose very existence, the United Nations Development Program once said, could be threatened by the incidence of HIV within its borders.
Such is the state of affairs in the Kingdom of Swaziland, which now has the dubious distinction of having the world's highest rate of both HIV and tuberculosis (TB). About 26% of adults aged 15–49, or about 202 000 of all the citizens of Africa's last absolute monarchy, are HIV positive, according to the Swaziland government. That number is expected to rise to 219 393 within three years. HIV, of course, also leaves people open to opportunistic infections, particularly TB, so it's not altogether unexpected that the TB prevalence rate is 1275 per 100 000 population. Some 83% of those are HIV-positive. To add to the misery, 7.3% of new TB cases, and 15% of retreatment cases, in 2010–11 were drug resistant ones.
Why are the 1.2 million people of this landlocked kingdom — just 200 km by 130 km, or roughly the size of Wales — in such dire straits?
Thirty years after he advocated user fees for healthcare in developing countries, former World Bank thinker David de Ferranti, lead author of a Lancet series urging universal healthcare, explains his change of mind...
This month, two critical legal battles between multinational pharmaceutical companies and the Indian government are taking center stage in an ongoing struggle over India’s medicines patent law. The potential consequences could be dire for governments and people in developing countries that rely on affordable, quality generic medicines produced in India....
In the last years, and particularly in the context of rising food prices, a number of global initiatives have increased public awareness and created momentum for nutrition including the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and the recent UK led Global Hunger Event. They have also highlighted the need to expand beyond the traditional delivery channels for nutrition and explore how nutrition sensitive interventions can be implemented by other sectors, including agriculture. Agriculture affects health and nutrition in tangible ways...