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WHO calls for ban on ‘virginity tests’ used by police and employers

New Scientist - Ma, 23/10/2018 - 18:45
The World Health Organization wants governments worldwide to ban the ‘virginity tests’ used by some police, doctors and employers to assess women and girls

New clues to unravelling link between pregnancy and breast cancer risk

New Scientist - Ma, 23/10/2018 - 17:00
Women are less likely to get breast cancer if they give birth before the age of 30. Now we know the effect kicks in specifically after 33 weeks of pregnancy

Bone hormone released during exercise may lead to new memory-loss drug

New Scientist - Ma, 23/10/2018 - 17:00
Age-related memory loss might be reversed by boosting the effects of a hormone released by bones during exercise

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on agency’s efforts to advance new ways to increase the availability of naloxone as one means for reducing opioid overdose deaths

Food and Drug Administration - Ma, 23/10/2018 - 15:20
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on agency’s efforts to advance new ways to increase the availability of naloxone as one means for reducing opioid overdose deaths
Categorie: Istituzioni

World’s longest sea bridge opens between Hong Kong and mainland China

New Scientist - Ma, 23/10/2018 - 13:27
The world's longest sea bridge has opened, connecting Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macau. It is 55 kilometres or 20 times longer than the Golden Gate Bridge

Tiny supercomputers could be made from the skeleton inside your cells

New Scientist - Ma, 23/10/2018 - 11:15
Building a computer out of the skeletons that hold our cells together could make them smaller and far more energy efficient

Hot baths could improve depression as much as physical exercise

New Scientist - Ma, 23/10/2018 - 11:00
Taking a hot bath twice a week may help relieve mild depression. It may work by resetting circadian rhythms, which are often disrupted in people with depression

Climate change and African trypanosomiasis vector populations in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley: A mathematical modelling study

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 22/10/2018 - 23:00

by Jennifer S. Lord, John W. Hargrove, Stephen J. Torr, Glyn A. Vale

Background

Quantifying the effects of climate change on the entomological and epidemiological components of vector-borne diseases is an essential part of climate change research, but evidence for such effects remains scant, and predictions rely largely on extrapolation of statistical correlations. We aimed to develop a mechanistic model to test whether recent increases in temperature in the Mana Pools National Park of the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe could account for the simultaneous decline of tsetse flies, the vectors of human and animal trypanosomiasis.

Methods and findings

The model we developed incorporates the effects of temperature on mortality, larviposition, and emergence rates and is fitted to a 27-year time series of tsetse caught from cattle. These catches declined from an average of c. 50 flies per animal per afternoon in 1990 to c. 0.1 in 2017. Since 1975, mean daily temperatures have risen by c. 0.9°C and temperatures in the hottest month of November by c. 2°C. Although our model provided a good fit to the data, it cannot predict whether or when extinction will occur.

Conclusions

The model suggests that the increase in temperature may explain the observed collapse in tsetse abundance and provides a first step in linking temperature to trypanosomiasis risk. If the effect at Mana Pools extends across the whole of the Zambezi Valley, then transmission of trypanosomes is likely to have been greatly reduced in this warm low-lying region. Conversely, rising temperatures may have made some higher, cooler, parts of Zimbabwe more suitable for tsetse and led to the emergence of new disease foci.

Salty Martian groundwater may have enough oxygen to support life

New Scientist - Lu, 22/10/2018 - 17:00
Mars gets its red colour from oxygen rusting its surface, and it may be hiding even more oxygen in underground brine, which could help microorganisms survive

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on agency’s ongoing commitment to improving efficiency, transparency of tobacco product application review process as part of FDA’s comprehensive framework to reduce tobacco-related disease and death

Food and Drug Administration - Lu, 22/10/2018 - 15:29
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on agency’s ongoing commitment to improving efficiency, transparency of tobacco product application review process as part of FDA’s comprehensive framework to reduce tobacco-related disease and death.
Categorie: Istituzioni

[Editorial] The Astana Declaration: the future of primary health care?

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
Primary health care is in crisis. It is underdeveloped in many countries, underfunded in others, and facing a severe workforce recruitment and retention challenge. Half the world's population has no access to the most essential health services. Yet 80–90% of people's health needs across their lifetime can be provided within a primary health-care framework—from maternity care and disease prevention through vaccination, to management of chronic conditions and palliative care. As populations age, and multimorbidity becomes the norm, the role of primary health-care workers becomes ever more important.

[Editorial] A good first step

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
The UK Government's appointment of Jackie Doyle-Price to the newly created role of Minister for Suicide Prevention marks a welcome development in the approach to an area of some concern. While suicide rates have fallen heavily in the UK since the Office for National Statistics began keeping records in 1981, almost no progress has been made in suicide rate reduction during 2007–17, with the overall suicide rate rising from 10·0 deaths per 100 000 to 10·1 deaths per 100 000.

[Editorial] Patient safety in vaginal mesh surgery

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidelines for the clinical management of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The guidelines, which are open for public consultation until Nov 19, recommend that women, first and foremost, be offered lifestyle interventions, physical and behavioural therapies, and medication before surgical options are considered. Women who do choose to have surgery must be fully informed of the risks and referred to a specialist.

[Comment] Primary health care for the 21st century, universal health coverage, and the Sustainable Development Goals

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
Good health and wellbeing are fundamental to the prosperity of societies. By many measures, modern humanity enjoys better health than earlier generations.1 But the benefits of modern health care are not accessible to all. Even as the incidence of infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria are reduced, many countries struggle to cope with the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, and the complex and growing health needs of ageing populations.2,3

[Comment] How primary health care can make universal health coverage a reality, ensure healthy lives, and promote wellbeing for all

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
40 years on from the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978,1 primary health care (PHC) is at a defining moment. Progress in the uptake of PHC across the world has contributed to raising global standards of health care and improving health, including a revolution in child survival and dramatic improvements in life expectancy. However, we are still far from addressing the determinants of health and the growing health needs of the 21st century and from realising a vision for health supported by health systems oriented around PHC.

[Comment] Primary health care and universal health coverage: competing discourses?

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
In October, 2018, WHO celebrates 40 years since the International Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC) and offers a renewed vision of PHC—building on, but not replacing, the Declaration of Alma-Ata.1 In those four decades, PHC has faced challenges. Undermined early by the divisive selective-comprehensive debate, PHC was marginalised by structural adjustment and sectoral reforms in the 1990s.2 PHC was, however, acknowledged in the World Health Report 2000 Health Systems: Improving Performance as a precursor of the new universalism: “high quality delivery of essential health care, defined mostly by the criterion of cost-effectiveness, for everyone, rather than all possible care for the whole population or only the simplest and most basic care for the poor”.

[Comment] Reform of primary health care in Pakistan

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
With a neonatal mortality rate exceeding 45 per 1000 livebirths, a UNICEF report ranked Pakistan as the riskiest place to be born on earth.1 Although the recent Demographic and Health Survey indicates that the situation has improved, the neonatal mortality rate in Pakistan is among the highest in the world.2 Other health indicators, particularly those pertaining to maternal and child health and nutrition, are worse than other countries in the region with comparable or lower socioeconomic indicators.

[Comment] Putting nursing and midwifery at the heart of the Alma-Ata vision

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
The Alma-Ata vision of a health system rooted in primary health care, which is person-centred and multisectoral, is as relevant now as it ever was. Nursing and midwifery can play a more central part in making this vision a reality. The health workforce has always been central to the 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata that recognised the important role of health workers in achieving this vision.1 More recently, the World Health Assembly adopted resolutions on the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health in 20162 and the Working for Health 5-year action plan in 20173 that committed countries to develop a primary health care workforce responsive to population needs as part of universal health coverage.

[Comment] Patient education and engagement in treat-to-target gout care

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis worldwide, affecting 4·0% of adults in the USA and 2·5% of adults in the UK.1 The pathophysiology of this crystal arthritis is well understood, and inexpensive urate-lowering drugs that address the underlying cause of the disease are widely available. Yet gout remains poorly managed, with 70% of patients experiencing recurrent gout flares2 and substantial burden from tophi and joint damage, which lead to functional limitations and diminished quality of life.

[Comment] No benefit of chlamydia screening in primary care?

The Lancet - Sa, 20/10/2018 - 00:00
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection worldwide. Persistent, untreated infection with C trachomatis leads to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and other complications, including ectopic pregnancy and tubal factor infertility. Researchers have shown that interventions that shorten the duration of infection through timely detection and treatment decrease PID incidence by 32%.1 On the basis of that and other evidence, many high-income countries support annual screening and treatment programmes for chlamydia in young women, repeated screening of those who are infected, and expedited partner treatment.
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