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In Ghana, Novartis is working with local private medicinal shops to make blood pressure screening more convenient and to dispense medicines from within the community. Image credit - walweed alzuhair/flicker

Health

In 2018, the Index reports that four of these companies are implementing or expanding commercial models in Africa that serve people on very low incomes

The new Access to Medicine Index notes increasing interest from multinational pharmaceutical companies in doing business in Africa that benefits people on lower incomes. However, the 2018 Index also finds important gaps in where pharmaceutical companies are registering new products on the African continent.

FILE - A replica of the International Prototype Kilogram is pictured at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, in Sevres, near Paris, Oct. 17, 2018.

Health

The redefinition of the kilogram, the globally approved unit of mass, was the mostly hotly anticipated change. For more than a century, ...

In a historic vote, nations on Friday unanimously approved a groundbreaking overhaul to the international system of measurements that underpins global trade and other vital human endeavors, uniting behind new scientific definitions for the kilogram and other units in a way that they have failed to do on so many other issues.

FILE - A street vendor sells illegal and false drugs in a street of Adjame in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Oct. 13, 2018.

Health

"Counterfeiters prey on poorer countries more than their richer counterparts, with up to 30 times greater penetration of fakes in the supply chain," said the report.

When Moustapha Dieng came down with stomach pains one day last month he did the sensible thing and went to a doctor in his hometown of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital.

New US Exercise Guidelines: Move More, Sit Less, Start Younger

Health

Only 20 percent of Americans get enough exercise now, and the childhood obesity problem has prompted the push to aim younger to prevent poor health later in life.

Move more, sit less and get kids active as young as age 3, say new U.S. federal guidelines that stress that any amount and any type of exercise helps health.

US Regulators Approve Powerful New Opioid Pill Despite Criticism

Health

The new drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday is five to 10 times more potent than pharmaceutical fentanyl and ...

U.S. regulators have approved a powerful new opioid tablet to be used in hospitals over objections from critics who fear the pill will be abused.

Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford. Image credit - The Indianapolis Star

Health

Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford says she was on a flight home to Boston from Indianapolis when she said she noticed a woman next to her was hyperventilating.

A physician says she was subject to racial discrimination by two flight attendants on Tuesday as she tried to help a sick fellow passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight.

Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals

Health

Jaber said researchers must now convey the risks to the general population that "being unfit should be considered as strong of a risk factor as hypertension, diabetes and smoking -- if not stronger than all of them."

We've all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

FILE - A newborn, one of 12 babies born by C-section, cries inside an incubator at the Bunda Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 12, 2012. Several hospitals in Indonesia's main cities performed more cesareans than usual with new mothers hoping a 12-12-12 birth date will bring luck to their newborns. VOA image

Health

They said millions of women each year may be putting themselves and their babies at unnecessary risk by undergoing C-sections at rates “that have virtually nothing to do with evidence-based medicine.”

Worldwide cesarean section use has nearly doubled in two decades and has reached “epidemic” proportions in some countries, doctors warned Friday, highlighting a huge gap in childbirth care between rich and poor mothers.

FILE - Packages of flavored liquids for e-cigarettes are seen displayed at a smoke shop in New York City, New York, U.S., May 1, 2018.

Health

In what it called the "largest coordinated enforcement effort in FDA history," the agency issued written warnings and fines to 1,300 retailers for their role in selling the devices to children.

American teens' use of electronic cigarettes has hit "epidemic proportions," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement released Wednesday.

A worker removes expired food in a local supermarket in Brussels on Jan. 16, 2017. The European Court of Auditors chided the European Union's executive branch in a report, "Combating Food Waste," that decries the bloc's lack of effort in reducing the food waste, estimating the EU wastes 88 million tons of food per year.

Health

Around a third of the world's food is lost or thrown away each year. Currently, we waste 1.6 billion tons of food annually, worth about $1.2 trillion.

Food waste could rise by almost a third by 2030 when more than 2 billion tons will be binned, researchers said on Tuesday, warning of a "staggering" crisis propelled by a booming world population and changing habits in developing nations.

FILE - School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016.

Health

The report said while there was significant progress in the battle against AIDS in other age groups, it is notably lacking among adolescents.

One girl between the ages of 15 and 19 is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, every three minutes of every day, a United Nations report found.

Drinking palm wine poses health risk

Health

The heart surgeon said the use of pesticide in preserving food items, including ‘Koobi’ and tiger nuts, were rife and called for national intervention.

The Minister of Science, Technology, Environment and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has cautioned those who drink palm wine of a possible health risk because most tappers use pesticide to process the drink.

FILE - A doctor holds Truvada pills at her office in San Francisco, May 10, 2012. New research shows more promise for using AIDS treatment drugs, such as Truvada, as a prevention tool, to help keep uninfected people from catching HIV during sex with a partner who has the virus.

Health

There were no infections among gay men who used a two-drug combo pill either daily or just before and after sex with someone with HIV, one study found. In a second study,..

New research shows more promise for using AIDS treatment drugs as a prevention tool, to help keep uninfected people from catching HIV during sex with a partner who has the virus.

HIV vaccine shows promise in human trial

Health

More testing is now needed to determine if the immune response produced can prevent HIV infection in people.

An HIV vaccine that has the potential to protect people around the world from the virus has shown promising results.

Although screening is not routinely recommended it is wise for anyone who plans to get involved in strenuous exercise to get clearance from a physician by history, physical exam and ECG.

Why would a healthy fit person collapse during exercise and die suddenly? In such a person there is usually an underlying heart condition. So, strenuous exercise would overburden the ailing heart, and they are more likely to suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest. The two most common causes of sudden death during exercise are coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathy.

Overweight? Depressed? It May Be Your Microbes

Health

Obesity triggers changes in metabolism — for example, making liver, muscle, fat and other tissues less responsive to insulin. Left untreated, these changes can lead to diabetes.

Microbes may be helping stir up anxiety and depression in obese people, if results from a new mouse study hold true in humans.

First bone marrow transplant takes off in Ghana

Health

History has been made as the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) has admitted its first patient to undergo the first-ever bone marrow transplant procedure in Ghana at the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) centre at the facility.

New Guidelines: Start Colorectal Cancer Screening Earlier

Health

The American Cancer Society is recommending people start testing for colon and rectal cancer at age 45, rather than 50 as currently prescribed.

FDA approves new drug that prevents migraines without side effects

Health

The drug's maker, Amgen, said U.S. list price is for the once monthly self-injection treatment will be $575 per month or $6,900 annually.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new migraine drug on Thursday.

File image - WHO prepares for worst in response to DR Congo Ebola outbreak

Health

Heavily criticised for its response to the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic, the WHO is now on the front line in dealing with the emergence of new cases in DR Congo. It says that it is preparing for the “worst case scenario”.

WHO: Cholera Vaccination Campaign Starts in Yemen

Health

The disease is spread by feces in sewage contaminating water or food, and it can kill because patients quickly lose fluids through vomiting and diarrhea. Caught early it can be treated with oral rehydration salts.

 The first vaccine campaign against cholera in Yemen has started, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, a year and a half after an epidemic was triggered by war and a health and sanitation crisis.

File image - One hemisphere of a healthy brain (L) is pictured next to one hemisphere of a brain of a person suffering from Alzheimer disease.

Health

Regardless of what tests are used to make the diagnosis, the new definition will have a startling effect: Many more people will be considered to have Alzheimer's, because the biological signs can show up 15 to 20 years before symptoms do.

Government and other scientists are proposing a new way to define Alzheimer's disease basing it on biological signs, such as brain changes, rather than memory loss and other symptoms of dementia that are used today.

WHO: Breastfeeding Should Be Standard Care for All Babies. Image credit - ebonycom

Health

Technical Officer in WHOs Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, Laurence Grummer-Strawn, says the updated 10-step guidance advises health facilities on how care should be offered to new mothers and babies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says breastfeeding all babies for the first two years would save the lives of more than 820,000 children under the age of five every year. The WHO is issuing a new 10-step guide aimed at promoting breastfeeding in health facilities around the world.

Watch the moment technology opened this blind man’s eyes to the world around him

Health

William Weeks lost most of his sight after suffering a rare illness at age five.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them and can make infections harder to treat.

Most people prescribed antibiotics for sinus infections are on treatment courses of 10 days or longer even though infectious-disease doctors recommend five to seven days for uncomplicated cases, a U.S. study suggests.

Science: What We Know About Cancer Risk and Coffee

Health

The World Health Organization's cancer agency moved coffee off the "possible carcinogen" list two years ago, though it says evidence is insufficient to rule out any possible role.

Trouble is brewing for coffee lovers in California, where a judge ruled that sellers must post scary warnings about cancer risks. But how frightened should we be of a daily cup of joe? Not very, some scientists and available evidence seem to suggest.

Kenya to Import 100 Doctors from Cuba

Health

The Kenyan government says the deal to import Cuban doctors would help counter gaps in Kenya's medical facilities.

Kenya has agreed to accelerate a health agreement it signed with Cuba last year and bring 100 doctors from the country to fill gaps in Kenyan hospitals. Fifty Kenyan doctors will also be sent to Cuba for specialized training.

Harvard researchers say they have 'reversed' a sign of aging in mice: Study

Health

However, in this study, the researchers identified a chemical compound that could indirectly stimulate the gene. The chemical was given to a group of 18-month-old mice -- the approximate equivalent of a 70-year-old human -- in their drinking water for a period of two months.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have published a study that, they suggest, shows it might be possible to reverse one sign of aging in mice.

FDA Plans to Slash Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

Health

To help smokers kick the deadly habit and stop kids from starting, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed rules Thursday to cut the nicotine in cigarettes to minimal or nonaddictive levels.

Cigarette smoking kills nearly a half-million Americans every year and costs the U.S. economy $300 billion in health care and lost productivity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Global obesity battle: what you eat and how you think

Health

“We know that a Western diet, one high in animal products, does not lay out a healthy foundation for Type 2 diabetes, for cancers, for heart disease, for a myriad of health problems. Eating that much meat, eating that much animal products, is just not healthy. And eating your traditional diet full of fruits and vegetables and legumes and fiber really is where we (the West) aspire to be,” Hunnes said.

Los Angeles resident Kathleen Mulcahy has been fighting with her weight for 55 years.

US Panel Recommends New Adult Vaccine Against Hepatitis B

Health

The new vaccine uses an additive that boosts the body's immune response. It is two shots given over one month.

A federal advisory panel is recommending a new vaccine against hepatitis B.

Another clue: Deeper in the brain, that attention region is larger in superagers, too. And inside, autopsies showed that brain region was packed with unusual large, spindly neurons - a special and little understood type called von Economo neurons thought to play a role in social processing and awareness.

Health

Early on, brain scans showed that a superager's cortex - an outer brain layer critical for memory and other key functions - is much thicker than normal for their age. It looks more like the cortex of healthy 50- and 60-year-olds.

It's pretty extraordinary for people in their 80s and 90s to keep the same sharp memory as someone several decades younger, and now scientists are peeking into the brains of these "superagers" to uncover their secret.

Lassa fever: Ghana Health Service Issues Alert

Health

Lassa fever is an Acute Viral Haemorrhagic Fever illness which is endemic in the West Africa. The incubation period is 6-21 days. The onset of LF illness is often gradual, with non-specific signs and symptoms and commonly presents with fever, general weakness and malaise at the early onset.

The Ghana Health Services (GHS) has cautioned all Divisional Directors, Regional Deputy Directors of the Service and public health care facilities of the likelihood of outbreaks of Lassa fever in the country.

Merck Foundation commits to building cancer care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

Health

Merck Foundation Marks ‘World Cancer Day’ this Year in Uganda and Tanzania. Merck Foundation conducts their post-training evaluation for their first graduate of ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ in Tanzania. Following the ‘We Can. I can’ theme of ‘World Cancer Day 2016-18’ Merck Foundation commits to building cancer care capacity in Africa and developing countries

Merck Foundation, a non-profit company and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany, marks ‘World Cancer Day 2018’ to create awareness around cancer and build cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists across Africa and developing countries.

Sex Hurts. Help! - NYT photo.

Health

Pain that is more persistent affects 7 to 22 percent of women, and up to 45 percent of menopausal women and 60 percent of cancer survivors report pain with sex. Pain with sex is up there in prevalence with migraine and low back pain, and yet it is woefully understudied and rarely discussed. The number of articles indexed in PubMed, a search engine for scientific literature, for dyspareunia is 3,694, and the number for erectile dysfunction, one type of sexual problem for men, is 19,796.

Written By Jen Gunter - It is a relatively common myth that penises can be too large. As a professional, I can assure you they generally are not.

Doctors Warn of Heart Risk From Some Breast Cancer Therapies

Health

Health experts are stepping up warnings as more cardiac side effects of some breast cancer treatments come to light. In its first guidance on the issue, released on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, the American Heart Association urges that women and their doctors carefully weigh the risks and benefits of any therapy that may cause heart damage.

Save your life but harm your heart? Health experts are sounding a warning as potential side effects of a growing number of breast cancer treatments come to light.

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