Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] The Global Health Impact Index

From the 30 January 2015 post  by Nicole Hassoun and Priya Bhimani at Impact Ethics

For much of 2014, the Ebola outbreak in Sub-Saharan Africa dominated headlines as the virus spread and eventually made its way to the United States and Europe. Unfortunately, while the world focused on graphic images of people dying from Ebola on the street, little attention was paid to other infectious diseases that continue to plague much of the developing world.

As media coverage of the Ebola outbreak slowly started to decline, however, news of a new strain of drug-resistant malaria started to catch the public’s attention. Drug-resistance is a silent but serious threat to public health. And, if drug-resistant malaria were to spread from its current location in Myanmar to the nearby nations of India and China, it could easily become the world’s next big global health emergency.

More generally, every year millions of people die from malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDs – aptly named neglected diseases. This fact invites the following questions: What efforts to combat these neglected diseases are working? Where is help still needed? And, what initiatives are actually making a difference?

A new Global Health Impact index, supported by a collaboration of university-based researchers and civil society organizations around the world, helps provide answers to these questions. The index evaluates the global health impact of particular drugs. This information can be used to increase awareness about particular diseases, and create national and international demand for drugs to treat these diseases.

Screenshot 2015-01-30 10.57.00

A drug’s global health impact is determined by compiling information about: (1) the need for the drug; (2) access to the drug; and (3) effectiveness of the drug. In this way, the Global Health Impact index makes it possible to estimate the impact of each drug in each country, as well as the global impact of particular drugs on specific diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

January 31, 2015 Posted by | Health Statistics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Millions of adolescents falling behind, especially in Africa – UNICEF report

Charles Taylor was found guilty by the Hague today…so many factors contribute to why adolescents are falling behind in Liberia and elsewhere in Africa…while wars and armed conflicts are some of the factors, there are others…still…the wages of war  (and preparing for ware) are death…in so many, many ways.

From the summary at Full Text Reports

Millions of adolescents falling behind, especially in Africa – UNICEF report
Source:  UNICEF

Over the past 20 years, adolescents have benefitted from progress in education and public health. Yet the needs of many adolescents are neglected with more than 1 million losing their lives each year and tens of millions more missing out on education, says a new UNICEF report today.
The report, for example, identifies sub-Saharan Africa as the most challenging place for an adolescent to live. The adolescent population of the region is still growing, and it is projected to have the greatest number of adolescents in the world by 2050. But only half the children in sub-Saharan Africa complete primary school and youth employment is low.
Progress for Children: A report card on adolescents highlights other alarming consequences of the benefits of progress not being equally shared among the total of 1.2 billion adolescents – defined by the United Nations as between the ages of 10 and 19 – now living in all the regions of the world.

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Missed Opportunity To Transform Global HIV/AIDS Fight Reported By Tropical Disease Experts

 

Map of Africa coloured according to the percen...

English: Estimated HIV prevalence among young adults (15-49) by country. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map-of-HIV-Prevalance-in-Africa.png

 

From the 12 December 2011 Medical News Today article 

Global HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts are missing a major opportunity to significantly improve health conditions in poor countries by simply adding low-cost care for the many other chronic and disabling diseases routinely afflicting and often killing these same patients, according to a panel of disease experts who spoke at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).

“People want better health; they do not understand why we silo diseases,” said Judd Walson, a global health and infectious disease expert at the University of Washington. “If you die from malaria, you don’t care that your HIV was treated. Communities want us to leverage the resources we have to treat and prevent disease as effectively as possible.”

Walson and his colleagues on the panel noted that many victims of HIV/AIDS also typically suffer from one or more of about 17 neglected, but burdensome, tropical diseases often called “diseases of poverty” because they prey on the “bottom billion” – the world’s poorest people. They include ailments such as trachoma, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and onchocerciasis, all of which are either insect-borne disease, bacterial infections, or caused by parasitic worms.

Despite the illness and deaths attributable to these diseases, proposed US funding for fighting them was only about $155 million in 2011, or about 3 percent of the $5.6 billion invested in HIV/AIDS efforts. Moreover, the programs often exist in isolation from one another with, for example, many programs restricting support only to antiretroviral drugs to treat AIDS.

Yet tropical disease experts note that in places like sub-Saharan Africa, where neglected diseases affect 1.4 billion people, co-infections with HIV are common. And they see mounting evidence that dealing with multiple diseases at the same time and in the same place is more cost-effective and clinically beneficial.

Walson pointed to a program in Western Kenya that focused on a community suspected of having high levels of HIV but whose remote location made it hard to reach to conduct testing. The program promised access to free bed nets and water filters to those residents who came in for a test. In just six days, some 10,000 residents turned out for the free nets and filters. The result: 1181 people were found to be HIV positive and referred to care while thousands of people gained new tools for preventing malaria and water-borne diseases. …….

December 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: