Archive for October, 2010

Reading List 10/29/2010

October 29th, 2010

Happy Friday! Today we have a diversity of readings, starting with how in Africa, Malaria rates may be cut by 5% in 2017. New focuses on water scarcity are showing a higher risk of contracting trachoma and a new study from the University of Copenhagen shows the impact schistosomiasis is having on female reproductive organs it is. The final reading for today is about the benefits of coconut water and how drinking it can help cleanse intestinal systems.

African Malaria May Ease as Remote Areas Accessed, Emanuel Says,  Drew Hinshaw, Bloomberg News The water crisis and climate change, Green Magazine Benefit Of Coconut Water And Drinking Coconut Water In Pregnancy, Dr. Lee Mikal, eArticlesOnline Parasite infects poor womens reproductive organs, NewsGuide

Weekly Blog Round Up 10/25-10/29

October 29th, 2010

This week on End the Neglect

1. We started the week off with a post in recognition of UN Day. 2. Our guest blogger Alanna Shaikh wrote about Leishmaniasis in Central Asia and about the potential for there to be an end of antibiotics in the next ten years. 3. A post from Maternal Mortality Daily on Wednesday shared about the work health employees are doing in India to improve maternal and newborn health. 4. We posted more pictures from our WHO report reception event last week on October 20. 5. The week was wrapped up yesterday with a post about the Myths vs. Reality of Trachoma in Tanzania.

Myths vs. Reality: Trachoma in Tanzania

October 28th, 2010

Reprinted with permission from Seed to Sight.

A public health intern shares her experience working with Helen Keller International.

By: Hannah Godlove

Hannah Godlove - Tanzania Intern

The first time I saw a trichiasis surgery to correct blinding trachoma I almost passed out. It was pretty embarrassing to have someone sit me down and bring me a Fanta for my blood sugar after seeing me wobble. It was even worse when that someone was waiting for her own surgery.

I have been working with Helen Keller International’s trachoma control program in Tanzania for almost three months. A little background: trachoma is a blinding disease that often infects children. Without treatment, the eyelid inverts, the eyelashes begin to scratch the cornea, and the patient eventually goes blind. To treat trachoma and prevent blindness, patients can either take the drug azythromycin or, in the later stage of the disease, they can undergo a fairly simple surgical procedure. The outpatient procedure prevents the eyelid from inverting.

In Tanzania, nearly one third of the population is at risk of contracting trachoma and the surgical backlog in the Mtwara and Lindi regions of Tanzania alone is estimated to be 67,500 people. Living in Mtwara, I see tons of older people walking around blinded by this wretched disease.

Click here to read the full post.

Come observe Malaria Day in the Americas

October 28th, 2010

PAHEF, the Pan American Health Organization, and the George Washington University Center for Global Health are hosting an event next week to celebrate Malaria Day in the Americas.

Malaria in the Americas Forum 2010:

Counting Malaria Out– Promoting Best Practices and Collaboration

Featuring presentations by Admiral R. Timothy Ziemer (USAID‐PMI) Dr. Keith H. Carter (PAHO) Dr. Yeni Otilia Herrera (MoH– Peru)

and videos & discussions on AMI/RAVREDA*, and The work of ‘Malaria Champions of the Americas 2010’

WHEN: Thursday, November 4, 2010 TIME: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. WHERE: Room B, Pan American Health Organization 525 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037 RSVP: Please fill out the form here

Light refreshments will be served

More from our reception celebrating the WHOs Report on Neglected Tropical Diseases!

October 27th, 2010

Last Wednesday October 20, 2010 the Global Network held a reception to celebrate the World Health Organizations (WHO) release of the first comprehensive report on neglected tropical diseases. As promised, were providing more photos from the event!

Guests begin to arrive and sign in anticipating an informative night full of facts and figures on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). A diverse group of individuals made up the attendee list, including His Excellency Ambassador Steve Matenje, Republic of Malawi, Dr. Jon Andrus, Deputy Director, Pan American Health Organization, and Dr. Debapriya Dutta, Science and Technology Counselor , Embassy of India, to name a few.

Once the room was filled, guests mixed and mingled, enjoying hor doeuvres and discussions about global health and NTDs:

Off to the side was stationed the literature table with material on NTDs that were free for the taking. The the NTD Report in its entirety and a summarized versions were available, along with fact sheets on NTDs, and USB memory cards containing our Just 50 Cents and Text LIFE to 30644 videos, the latter of which can be found on our blogs sidebar!

The panel discussion was kicked off by Dr. Neeraj Mistry, Managing Director of the Global Network. Dr. Mistry then passed the microphone over to Dr. Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and Dr. Francesco Rio, head of communications for the WHO’s NTD Control Department.

Once the panel discussion concluded, the speakers congratulated each other and enjoyed a good laugh before joining the rest of the reception guests in the festivities.

Michael Marine, CEO of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and Tara Hayward, Resource Development Officer at Sabin, speak with a guest while enjoying the view from the terrace.

To view all photos from the event, please check out the Global Network Flickr page.

The End of Antibiotics

October 27th, 2010

By: Alanna Shaikh

I swear, I dont spend all my time being terrified. I live a normal, fairly optimistic life. But it’s been a scary week for global health. I’m right to be frightened. Today I am scared of something much bigger than cutaneous leishmaniasis, although leishmaniasis, and many of the other NTDs are part of it. Today I’m thinking about the end of antibiotics.

For those of you who dont know what I am talking about, a couple of months ago British researchers discovered a new gene in some kinds of bacteria (specifically, enterobacteriaceae). This gene confers resistance to many kinds of antibiotics. And it travels easily between different kinds of bacteria. One of the researchers was interviewed on The Guardian’s global health blog, and here’s what he had to say

“This is potentially the end. There are no antibiotics in the pipeline that have activity against NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae. We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with.”

Read more: The End of Antibiotics

Community Health Workers Compete to Develop Creative Slogans and Images to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health in Jharkhand, India

October 26th, 2010

By: Kate Mitchell

On Wednesday, September 29th, nearly 300 community health workers from 174 villages in the rural Seraikela block of Jharkhand, India came together for an interesting event that involved plenty of art supplies, a flurry of creative ideas, a tangible passion for and dedication to improving rural maternal and newborn health, and a little bit of healthy competition.

The gathering, part of the Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI), was an effort to develop effective behavior change communication tools for four maternal health interventions being implemented through MANSI– by tapping into the vast knowledge, experiences, and creative capacity of the newly identified community health workers.

Read more: Community Health Workers Compete to Develop Creative Slogans and Images to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health in Jharkhand, India

Outbreak of Leishmaniasis in Central Asia?

October 25th, 2010

By: Alanna Shaikh

Regular readers of my guest posts may be aware of my ongoing terror of leishmaniasis. Since it’s been seen on both Western China and Afghanistan, I figure it’s only a matter of time before it goes endemic in Tajikistan (it’s been seen here, but not in huge numbers) and I end up covered in painful, suppurating sores. Mosquitoes love me, so it only stands to reason that sand flies, the leishmaniasis vector, would also see me as a tasty feast. In fact, I am pretty sure that I was covered in sand fly bites for several weeks last summer.

I have been comforting myself with the fact that there really isn’t very much leishmaniasis in Afghanistan. Kabul reports something in the range of 15,000 cases a year. Even taking into account underreporting, that’s not really a terrifying number for a city the size of Kabul.

Except not any more. The WHO has just reported that last year there were 65,000 cases of leishmaniasis in Kabul. 13 million Afghans are at risk for the disease. That’s a big number. Leishmaniasis-bearing sand flies are probably hurtling across the Tajik-Afghan border in droves as I type this. Well, except that it’s too cold for sand flies right now. And that the disease would probably be carried by infected people who’d then share their blood with the Tajik sand flies, rather than infected fleas being the crossing point.

Read more: Outbreak of Leishmaniasis in Central Asia?

Happy UN Day!

October 25th, 2010

Yesterday, October 24, 2010, marked the United Nations 65th year since its creation in 1945. Since then, The United Nations (UN) has grown to 192 member states from its humble beginnings of 51 member states, and has has provided the world with a framework for good behavior. To note, the UN has agreed to achieving eight international development goals by the year 2015, which are referred as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals include eradicating poverty, ending hunger, addressing maternal and child health, combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases, achieving environmental sustainability, among other issues as well.

Just last month, the 2010 MDG Summit took place in New York where public and private, governmental, and UN agencies convened to discuss the current progress and the next steps in achieving the MDGs. Our very own Communications Associate Anjana Padmanabhan was present at the events Digital Media lounge, where she live-blogged about the summits current happenings. End the Neglect featured this coverage and more throughout the week of the Summit.

For more information on the UNs 65th Anniversary, please check out their website.

Reading List 10/25/2010

October 25th, 2010

New list of reads this morning for your reading pleasure! Today were reading about the findings in a new study that suggests vaccines for elephantiasis may actually be spreading the disease, free surgery given out to 4,000 patients in Jigawa state in Nigeria, and weve also compiled several news articles on the current cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Vaccines could make elephantiasis spread more easily, Yahoo News 4,000 to receive free eye treatment in Jigawa, Peoples Daily Cholera Toll Tops 250 in Haiti , Betsy McKay, Wall Street Journal In Haiti, Capital Braces for a Cholera Outbreak, Deborah Sontag, The New York Times Cholera outbreak threatens Haitis capital, The Washington Post

Articles on the Cholera outbreak with comments from Dr. Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute:

Officials Race To Contain Cholera Outbreak In Haiti, Jon Hamilton, NPR Haiti Cholera Cases Expected to Rise, Lara Salahi, ABC News The Haiti Cholera Outbreak: What Happens Next?, The Atlantic

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    • The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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