Also In Global Health News: Asia’s ‘Double Burden’; Guinea Worm Eradication; ARV, Antibiotic Treatment; Sierra Leone’s Medical Workers; Melinda Gates In India
Asians Facing ‘Double Burden’ Of Disease, Health Experts Warn
During a two-day healthcare conference in Asia, health experts on Monday encouraged the governments of Asian countries to draft plans to tackle the long-term costs associated with chronic illnesses, Reuters reports. “Asia is facing a double burden,” of disease, said Bruce Neal of the University of Sydney. “While Asians are still suffering the maternal, child health, infectious disease-type problems they are also living longer as they get enough food to eat and are suffering similar illnesses to those in the West, such as cardiovascular diseases and depression,” he added (Lyn, 3/29).
Public Radio International Reports On Carter’s Efforts To Eradicate Guinea Worm
Public Radio International’s “The World” reports on former President Jimmy Carter’s global campaign to eradicate the Guinea worm. The audio piece describes Carter’s recent trip to Southern Sudan last month, where he was helping to educate people on ways to prevent the spread of the parasite. The Web site also includes a link to an extended interview with Carter, where he describes how his center became involved in the effort to fight the Guinea worm (Baron, 3/29).
Combined ARV, Antibiotic Treatment Could Reduce HIV Mortality Among Patients In Resource-Limited Settings, Study Finds
Simultaneously treating patients living with HIV/AIDS with antiretrovirals (ARVs) and an inexpensive antibiotic known as co-trimoxazole can reduce HIV mortality by 50 percent in the first 18 months of treatment, according to a Lancet study published Monday, VOA News reports (Nyaira, 3/29). “The observational study analyzed 3,179 Ugandan and Zimbabwean participants from the Development of Anti-Retroviral Therapy in Africa (DART) trial, conducted by the MRC in Uganda and Zimbabwe, for almost five years,” according to IRIN/PlusNews. Though the WHO recommends “co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for all HIV-infected patients with a CD4 count below 350â€¦ the DART study found that the use of the antibiotic was inconsistent in Uganda and Zimbabwe,” IRIN/PlusNews writes (3/29).
Sierra Leonean Medical Workers End Strike
“Sierra Leonean medical workers began returning to their jobs on Monday after the government promised them a sixfold pay rise to end a two-week strike that paralysed the West African nation’s health services,” Reuters reports (3/29). According an organizer from the strike, the government agreed to increase the rate of pay for doctors in the country from $100 to $600 per month, the BBC reports (3/28). Agence France-Presse adds: “The World Health Organisation estimates that there is less than one physician per 10,000 inhabitants in the country, whose healthcare system was left in tatters after a decade-long civil war ended in 2001” (3/28).
Melinda Gates Visits India
While in India last week, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited programs that the foundation supports to improve newborn care, The Telegraph reports.Â According to the newspaper, one initiative involves educating birth attendants on practices such as fostering skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, keeping the infant warm and promoting exclusive breastfeeding, which can reduce newborn mortality. “Weâ€™ve got to spread such practices â€” and women themselves can do this,” Gates said (Mudur, 3/27). In an interview with The Hindu‘s editor-in-chief N. Ram, Gates “discussed the Foundation’s focus on bringing down the under-5 child death rate in [Uttar Pradesh], polio eradication, immunisation coverage, maternal and child issues, and development in the State,” as well as efforts in the state of Bihar (3/28).