Wednesday, November 2, 2016

GH Now. Cancer, Cholera, Smoking, Cooking indoors. November 2, 2016

Global Health Now


November 2, 2016


A cholera infected child resting on the floor of the Doin medical center near Saint Marc, Haiti.
UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino

Shrinking the Cholera Map

We’re making much-needed progress in the global fight against cholera, which kills 95,000 people each year, writes Dr. David A. Sack of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Supplies of the cholera vaccine will soon triple—thanks to a new, WHO-sanctioned manufacturer—allowing health workers to deploy it preventively in high-risk hotspots, rather than solely in response to outbreaks. Sack also says health workers are refining best practices for administering the vaccine, which should increase efficacy.

These advancements, Sack warns, do not nullify the need for further vaccine innovation, nor for improved water and sanitation infrastructure.
David A. Sack, Global Health NOW


It Wouldn’t Cost a Lot
Basic cancer-fighting measures—for as little as $1.72 per person—could save hundreds of thousands of lives in poor countries, according to research published yesterday in The Lancet.

The Numbers:
  • Nearly 800,000 women die of cervical and breast cancer every year.
  • 2/3 of breast cancer deaths, and 9 out of 10 cervical cancer deaths occur in developing countries.
  • Vaccinating girls in poor countries against human papilloma virus (HPV) over 4 years could prevent 600,000 cervical cancer deaths.
The Quote: "There is a widespread misconception that breast and cervical cancers are too difficult and expensive to prevent and treat, particularly in resource-poor countries where the burden of these diseases is highest," said the University of Toronto’s Ophira Ginsburg … "But nothing could be further from the truth.”
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Related: Institutes in the Lead: Identifying Environmental Factors in Breast Cancer – Environmental Health Perspectives

Related: Global health leaders call for a World Health Assembly cancer resolution in 2017 – UICC


Help Wanted in the OR
In a public hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, physician Anna Budde witnessed an appendicitis patient writhing in pain for 6 days until the city’s lone anesthesiologist was available for surgery. Budde underscores an astonishing statistic: 5 billion people lack access to safe and affordable surgery and anesthesia, according to an April 2015 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery report.

Budde says operating space and equipment are all well and good, but they aren’t worth much without skilled professionals to use them. Global efforts, she believes, should focus on training more surgeons and anesthesiologists.
Global Health Hub

Related: Don't miss today's symposium, Operation Health: Surgery’s Emerging Role in Global Health, co-hosted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, set to explore surgery’s place in global health.


Different Stakes, Different Standards
A recent clinical trial of a male contraceptive—an injectable hormone—looked promising, but an independent committee halted the trial because of side effects including “mood changes, depression, pain at the injection site, and increased libido.”

The kicker? Women have dealt with the same side effects, and worse, for decades with female contraceptives. In a detailed comparison, Julie Beck concludes that women have been willing to weather the side effects because the stakes are much higher with unwanted pregnancies. But she adds that even with the side effects, most of the men in the study (more than 80%) wanted to continue using the injectable birth control—indicating a willingness to share more of the responsibility for birth control.
The Atlantic


Safe Enough?
In the US, the dominant health message on e-cigs is that vaping is dangerous and could be the first step to developing an addiction to smoking, especially for young people.

Amid slumpling sales of e-cigs, however, some public health officials are expressing concerns that the consistent warnings about e-cig dangers is a disservice to smokers who might benefit from the devices to help them quit smoking.

“We may well have missed, or are missing, the greatest opportunity in a century,” says David B. Abrams, senior scientist at the Truth Initiative, an antismoking group. “The unintended consequence is more lives are going to be lost.”
The New York Times

Related: WHO: New Smoking Products, Internet Pose Dangers for Tobacco Control – VOA

Related: India says it is committed to global tobacco-control treaty – Reuters

Related: Why Tobacco Companies Are Spending Millions To Boost A Cigarette Tax – NPR Shots


Cleaner Cooking
Cleaner, more efficient and affordable indoor cookstoves may help safeguard the health of 3 billion of the world’s poorest people. If adopted, these improved cookstoves could replace open-fire cooking, which is often fueled by wood, dung, charcoal or crop waste, and contributes to air pollution and climate change.

Recently, US companies BURN, Envirofit and Biolite have garnered massive funding from global investors to design high-quality stoves at low prices. Still, the new cookstoves might remain out of reach for some of the world’s most impoverished. The best solution continues to be providing access to electricity and natural gas.


Celebrating the Life and Contributions of D.A. Henderson
Please join us for a celebration of D.A. Henderson’s life. Speakers will remember D.A.’s extraordinary leadership of the global smallpox eradication effort and his many other contributions to public health that will benefit us for generations to come.


A new study finds that K. pneumoniae exposed to chlorhexidine, a common ingredient in several disinfectants, could become resistant to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic against multidrug-resistant pathogens. Managed Care

Poor womb growth is the number one risk factor for stunting in children, a new study in PLoS Medicine finds, indicating that more emphasis should be placed on the health of pregnant women. VOA

In Puerto Rico, more access to contraception for women during the Zika outbreak could potentially help avoid $62.3 million in costs associated with Zika-linked birth defects. CIDRAP

A study led by a team at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that an experimental DNA vaccine protected 17 of 18 rhesus macaques from infection with the Zika virus. The JAMA Network


Let’s Make TB History – Gates Notes

In Iraq, the environment itself has become a weapon of war — again – Vox

For Helping Immigrants, Chobani’s Founder Draws Threats – The New York Times

More Children Are Being Poisoned By Prescription Opioids – NPR Shots Thanks for the tip, Tarun Bhatnagar!

Why treating diabetes keeps getting more expensive – The Washington Post

‘Messy math’ from sardine studies could help fight flu outbreaks – Science

The venom of one of world's deadliest snakes could relieve pain, say scientists – BBC

Burning 'Inferno' Question: How Fast Can A Deadly Virus Spread? – NPR Goats & Soda Blog

Issue No. 707

Global Health NOW is an initiative of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Views and opinions expressed in this email do not necessarily reflect those of the Bloomberg School. Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Lindsay Smith Rogers, and Jackie Powder. Write us: and follow us on Twitter @GHN_News.

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