Recent gains in the fight against malaria could be reversed because funding has stalled, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
Its latest World Malaria Report says 1.1 million lives were saved in the past decade but that the expansion in funding from 2004-09 halted in 2010-12.
Less than half of the $5.1bn (£3.1bn) needed was spent last year.
The WHO’s latest figures – for 2010 – show some 219 million people were infected, with 660,000 people dying. Continue reading “WHO Says Progress in Malaria Threatened by Funding” »
By James Gallagher, Health and science reporter, BBC News
Exhaust fumes from diesel engines do cause cancer, a panel of experts working for the World Health Organization says.
It concluded that the exhausts were definitely a cause of lung cancer and may also cause tumours in the bladder.
It based the findings on research in high-risk workers such as miners, railway workers and truck drivers.
However, the panel said everyone should try to reduce their exposure to diesel exhaust fumes.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, had previously labelled diesel exhausts as probably carcinogenic to humans. Continue reading “WHO Says Diesel Exhaust Fumes Cause Cancer” »
When it comes to vitamins, it appears you could have too much of a good thing, say researchers who report a link between their use and higher death rates among older women. Experts have suspected for some time that supplements may only be beneficial if a person is deficient in a nutrient.
A new research shows that giving Vitamin A supplements to children under the age of five in developing countries could save 600,000 lives a year.
The work published in the British Medical Journal was conducted by a team of UK and Pakistani researchers. The group evaluated up to 200,000 children in 43 studies and found that if children were given vitamin A, deaths were reduced by a monstrous 24%
And not only that, they also established that taking Vitamin A could cut the rates of measles and diarrhea.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, around the world, 190 million children under the age of five may have a vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A is vital for the visual and immune systems to work properly.
Kitsepile Nyathi, allafrica
Cases of men who have been sexually abused by women are common in the country and hardly a week passes without such a report being made in the media.
The motives of these women are not known, but there is speculation that they may be doing this for ritual purposes.
“We appeal to members of the public to pass any information to the police regarding three women who have gone on a spree of kidnapping and indecently assaulting young men around town,” Harare police boss Angeline Guvamombe said in a statement.
“The women drive in posh cars and offer their unsuspecting victims lifts before spraying some liquid substance on their faces.
“Once the victim is drowsy, he is taken to a secluded place or house where he is forced to have sex,” said Ms Guvamombe. “I want to warn these criminals that their days are numbered,” she added.
On Monday, the Herald reported that two men were kidnapped last week and forced to have sex with women at gunpoint.
In one of the incidents, a 30-year-old man was kidnapped by three women and forced to have sex with them for five days.
In some cases, the women use protection and collect the men’s sperm, leading to speculation that they were in the activity for ritual purposes.
At times, the women are helped by armed men.
Since the strange rape cases began sometime last year, no one has been arrested.
Police have said the women cannot be charged with rape because Zimbabwean law does not recognise that women can rape men.
But they will be charged with indecent assault, which carries a lesser sentenc
Medical experts are calling for global action to tackle the viruses that cause the liver disease hepatitis.
The first worldwide estimates in drug users show 10 million have hepatitis C while 1.3 million have hepatitis B.
Writing in the Lancet, experts say only a fraction of those who could benefit are receiving antiviral drugs.
Only one in five infants around the world are vaccinated against hepatitis B at birth, they say.
The figures, published in the Lancet, show about 67% of injecting drug users in the world have been exposed to hepatitis C, while around 10% have come into contact with hepatitis B.
In the UK, around half of injecting drug users have been infected with the hepatitis C virus, while the rate for exposure to hepatitis B is 9% – the highest in western Europe.
The research was led by Prof Louisa Degenhardt of the Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia, and Paul Nelson from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
They say: “The public-health response to blood-borne virus transmission in injecting drug users has mainly centred on HIV.
“Maintenance and strengthening of the response to HIV in injecting drug users remains crucial, but the significance of viral hepatitis needs to receive greater attention than it does at present.”
Commenting on the study in the Lancet, Dr Joseph Amon, of Human Rights Watch, New York City, US, said: “This study provides us with a first step and powerful data to draw attention to the problem of viral hepatitis in people who use drugs.
“The next step is to challenge governments to act, and hold them accountable for implementation of rights-respecting and evidence-based programmes.”
Hepatitis is caused by five main viruses – A, B and C, and, more rarely D and E.
Hepatitis B is the most common, and can be passed from mother to baby at birth or in early childhood as well as through contaminated injections or injected drug use.
Hepatitis C is also spread through using unsterile needles and less commonly through unsafe sex or sharing razors or toothbrushes.
Researchers have identified a low-cost chemical that interferes with a mosquito’s ability to detect humans, a study which offers a striking breakthrough in the battle against malaria.
Mosquitoes have carbon dioxide sensors with which they are able to smell the presence of humans in their neighborhood. The newly identified chemicals consist of odor molecules that disrupt these carbon-dioxide sensors located in small, antennae-like appendages close to the mosquito’s mouth, thereby disrupting the mechanism that alert mosquitoes to exhaled human breath. The study is presented in the journal Nature.
It is hoped that the findings could help develop the next generation of mosquito repellents, which could work by confusing the insects.
DEET are the gold standard insect repellants but they are costly and requires repeat applications and therefore beyond the means of many in the developing countries. This discovery could prove invaluable to poor tropical countries by providing an alternative to DEET.
According to the World Health Organization, malaria kills between 800,000 to 1 million people each year, most of who are in Sub-Saharan African. Children and pregnant mothers are the most vulnerable.
Thirty years ago, when I founded Microsoft my colleagues and I envisioned a computer for everyone. Now, I join you in seeking good health care for every human being.