You are here: Home » Health (page 10)

Category Archives: Health

Feed Subscription

WHO: Malaria deaths halved since 2000

عالمی ادارہ صحت کے مطابق گزشتہ 13 برسوں کے دوران ملیریا کے باعث ہلاک ہونے والوں کی تعداد نصف ہو گئی ہے ۔ اس عالمی ادارے کی ایک تازہ رپورٹ کے مطابق 2000ء تا 2013ء ملیریا کے نتیجے میں ہونے والی ہلاکتوں میں سنتالیس فیصد کمی واقع ہوئی ہے۔ اس رپورٹ میں بتایا گیا ہے کہ گزشتہ برس ملیریا کے ممکنہ خطرے میں مبتلا ستانوے میں سے تیرہ ممالک میں ملیریا کا کوئی بھی کیس ریکارڈ نہیں کیا گیا۔

The World Health Organization’s annual global report on malaria shows that the mortality rate from the disease has halved since the turn of the millennium. Ebola threatens progress in western Africa, however. The number of deaths caused by malaria has almost halved since 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. According to the UN health agency’s annual report ... Read More »

Mali releases UN peacekeepers from Ebola quarantine

Mali has released UN peacekeepers after involuntarily quarantining them in an Ebola clinic. The virus has infected more than 17,000 people since March and killed at least 6,100 of them. Mali released the peacekeepers from quarantine Saturday. Weeks ago, the Pasteur Clinic, in Mali's capital, Bamako, had admitted the soldiers from the UN's Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) with various injuries connected to their service in the country's restive north. However, officials then locked the soldiers into the clinic with other patients and staff when a nurse died after contracting Ebola from a Muslim cleric who had traveled from Guinea to seek treatment for the virus. "Having all been placed under observation, the quarantined MINUSMA soldiers showed no symptoms of the disease so they just left the establishment," the mission spokesman said. Nobody else at the clinic has shown symptoms of Ebola. However, seven people have died of the tropical disease in the West African nation, with the first fatality a 2-year-old girl brought from neighboring Guinea to stay with relatives. Then, the Islamic cleric died in Bamako, transmitting the virus, directly or indirectly, to at least five people, all of whom have now succumbed. Mali's Health Ministry has announced two new cases: the nurse's 23-year-old fiance and a 27-year-old man who had lost his mother and half-brother to Ebola. According to the World Health Organization, as of December 2, 219 of 227 current contacts linked with the outbreak in Bamako remained under observation. Although international health organizations recommend that people infected with Ebola refrain from bodily contact with others, quarantines as a strategy have been criticized. 'With no risk' A Swiss hospital cleared for travel 43-year-old Felix Baez Sarria, who caught Ebola in Sierra Leone while working as part of a contingent of 250 Cuban doctors sent there, Liberia and Guinea - the countries hit hardest by the outbreak. In a statement, Jacques-Andre Romand, chief medical officer of Geneva canton, said the hospital would release Sarria as "the total recovery of the patient, confirmed by thorough laboratory tests, now allows him to leave the country and travel with no risk of contagion." He had been treated for Ebola in an isolation unit of the hospital by a team of five specialists employing strict safety protocols. His treatment included the experimental drug ZMapp. Nearly 350 medical personnel have died in the outbreak - more than 100 in Sierra Leone, including at least eight doctors. Sierra Leone has pledged to pay the families of all national medical staff who die battling Ebola $5,000 (4,070 euros) in compensation. Cuba's contribution to fighting the worst ever outbreak of the virus has brought the Caribbean island praise as other countries and international agencies have been criticized for their slow response. Cuba has pledged to send a total of 700 doctors and nurses to West Africa.

Mali has released UN peacekeepers after involuntarily quarantining them in an Ebola clinic. The virus has infected more than 17,000 people since March and killed at least 6,100 of them. Mali released the peacekeepers from quarantine Saturday. Weeks ago, the Pasteur Clinic, in Mali’s capital, Bamako, had admitted the soldiers from the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) ... Read More »

WHO: ‘China is witnessing an evolving HIV epidemic’

With an estimated 800,000 people living in China with HIV/AIDS, the WHO’s country representative Bernhard Schwartlaender tells DW the nation needs to do more to prevent infection and eliminate stigma and discrimination. Around the world, there were around 35 million people living with HIV in 2013, and 2.1 million people becoming newly infected, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There were an estimated 4.8 million people living with HIV across the Asia-Pacific region in 2013. China's National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention last year estimated that as many as 810,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the country, including those who have not yet been diagnosed. In particular, HIV infections in China continue to increase among men who have sex with men (MSM). A study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2013 showed that the HIV epidemic among MSM is expanding rapidly across all parts of the country. Compounding the problem, many MSM remain unaware of their status given the low rates of HIV testing among this group of population, says the WHO. Bernhard Schwartlaender, WHO Representative in China, says in a DW interview that while the country has made remarkable progress in some areas, China still faces many challenges in terms of preventing new HIV infections, and ensuring equitable access to healthcare and treatment for all who need it. DW: How would you describe the general situation in China in terms of HIV? Bernhard Schwartlaender: The estimated number of HIV infections among the general population remains low, at 0.06 percent. However, China is witnessing an evolving HIV epidemic - with sexual transmission of HIV on the rise, especially among men who have sex with men and other groups including students. How has the Chinese government responded to the situation? China has shown its capacity for both pragmatism and innovation in responding to the HIV epidemic. For instance, over the last decade, a massive national network of over 700 needle exchanges and methadone clinics has been established. This led to a marked reduction in HIV prevalence among injecting drug users. The country's strong action on methadone maintenance therapy has not only made a major dent in China's HIV epidemic, but it has also shown the world innovative ways to provide services to this hard to reach population group. China has also made much progress in improving access to HIV diagnosis and providing antiretroviral drugs for those who need treatment. But there is still more to do in both of these areas: making testing more accessible, and making the antiretroviral treatment regime simpler. What are the biggest challenges China currently faces in terms of preventing new infections? In China, like elsewhere in the world, only a fraction of people living with HIV know their status. Testing for HIV needs to be made more accessible. New infections continue among heterosexual people as well as men who have sex with men. We need innovative ways to promote safe sex - including use of condoms 100% all the time. Every new HIV infection is one that can be prevented. What can you tell us about the stigma those infected with the virus have to face? One of the biggest enemies to the elimination of HIV in China - as in the rest of the world - is stigma and discrimination. We have to call an end to stigma and discrimination towards people with HIV. I've seen some of my own colleagues in the medical profession turn patients away because they disapproved of the person's sexual orientation. That is simply unacceptable, and it has to stop. What must the country do about the stigma issue? The fact that the first Lady of China, Peng Liyuan, and the Premier, Li Keqiang, are both personally involved in the fight against HIV sends a powerful message to the population. National leaders are incredibly powerful advocates for stopping stigma towards people living with HIV, and at-risk groups. Everyone can play a role in ending discrimination and combating prejudice - for instance, by educating ourselves and others. What do you urge Chinese authorities to do to accelerate action to tackle HIV and close the gap with other countries? There are a range of areas of the HIV response where China is doing well, but can do better. Rapid tests are now available, which give results in 20 minutes. We need to make innovations such as this more widely available. People in China taking antiretroviral drugs need to take 5-6 pills per day, but one pill per day is a reality in many parts of the world, including some of the poorest countries in Africa. Why not in China? "Close the Gap" is the global theme of this year's World Aids Day. This means that we should do more to close the gaps in access to prevention, treatment, and to stop discrimination. The good news is that we have the tools to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. It is imperative for the Chinese patients that we use them. Dr Bernhard Schwartlaender is the Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in China. Before joining WHO in China, he served as Director for Evidence, Policy and Innovation at UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva and as the United Nations Country Coordinator on AIDS in Beijing, China.

With an estimated 800,000 people living in China with HIV/AIDS, the WHO’s country representative Bernhard Schwartlaender tells DW the nation needs to do more to prevent infection and eliminate stigma and discrimination. Around the world, there were around 35 million people living with HIV in 2013, and 2.1 million people becoming newly infected, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). ... Read More »

Ebola goals met in Guinea, Liberia; Sierra Leone close

According to the World Health Organization, Liberia and Guinea have met a target for preventing Ebola’s spread. The WHO’s assistant director-general says Sierra Leone has fallen short but could get on track shortly. Dr. Bruce Aylward, the assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, told reporters in Geneva that the WHO's ambitious plan to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa has shown it possible to quickly reduce the "yawning gap" between disease levels and the capacity to respond. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Aylward said both Guinea and Liberia had met a WHO target of isolating 70 percent of Ebola cases and safely burying 70 percent of those who die by December 1. Aylward added that Sierra Leone still did not yet have enough beds in treatment centers to isolate Ebola patients, but had probably met the targets in the west of the country. He said he expected levels nationwide to improve "in the coming weeks," with many new facilities scheduled for opening in that time frame. "That capacity at the district level is strong and getting stronger in Sierra Leone, and that's why I think the prognosis is actually very good," Aylward said at the press conference on Monday, praising the government's efforts to combat the epidemic. Aylward added, however, that all the good news "doesn't mean you're automatically going to get to zero" cases and eliminate unsafe burials without more cooperation among responders. Ebola has infected nearly 16,000 people, according to the WHO, almost all of them in the three West African countries. Nearly 5,700 people have succumbed to the virus. The hemorrhagic fever can be treated but has no surefire cure, though a new vaccine has shown promise in recent trials. Ebola spreads through contact with bodily fluids.

According to the World Health Organization, Liberia and Guinea have met a target for preventing Ebola’s spread. The WHO’s assistant director-general says Sierra Leone has fallen short but could get on track shortly. Dr. Bruce Aylward, the assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, told reporters in Geneva that the WHO’s ambitious plan to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak in ... Read More »

Hope amid caution as world marks AIDS Day

Health professionals have marked World AIDS Day by calling for redoubled efforts despite signs that treatment is giving relief to millions of sufferers. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst hit by the 30-year pandemic. The global anti-poverty group ONE warned on Monday that there was no end in sight to AIDS worldwide despite better access to antiretroviral medications for patients. ONE, an advocacy group founded a decade ago by personalities such as the musician Bono, said the world had reached the "tipping point" towards overcoming the pandemic. "But, not all countries are there yet, " said Erin Hohlfelder, ONE's director of global health policy. "Gains made can easily stall or unravel." Medicinal 'cocktail' helps Over three decades, AIDS has killed up to 40 million people worldwide. Another 35 million remained alive but with the virus HIV by the end of last year, according to data compiled by the UN's World Health Organization (WHO). Of the 2.1 million new infections recorded during 2013, 70 percent occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, said the WHO. Some 1.5 million people had died worldwide. In a hopeful sign, the UN agency UNAIDS said by June this year, some 13.6 million people had access to antiretroviral drugs, compared to just 5 million in 2010, "Despite the good news, we should not take a victory lap yet," said ONE's Hohlfelder. The human immunodeficiency disease known by the acronym AIDS/HIV is spread via blood, semen and breast milk. There is no known cure as such but the infection can be kept at bay for many years by cocktails of medications that contain the virus' spread. Rising levels in ex-Soviet states Last week, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the WHO warned that HIV infection cases had doubled in Russia and former Soviet states over the past 10 years, particularly among narcotics users who injected themselves. Last year more than 105,000 new infections were recorded in the former Soviet states in eastern Europe and Central Asia, compared to about 50,000 in 2004. In the EU and eastern Europe, sex between gay and bisexual men was still the main mode of HIV transmission, accounting for 42 percent of new cases in the region. WHO urges China to react On Monday, the WHO also called for urgent remedial action in China, saying nearly half a million people in the People's Republic were living with the disease. Hundreds of thousands more were thought to be undiagnosed, said the WHO. Its representative in China, Bernhard Schwartlaender said China needed to do "much more" to prevent infection. "Perhaps mostly importantly, we must eliminate stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV," he said. Some medics in China turned patients away because they disapproved of their sexual orientation, Schwartlaender said. "It has to stop."

Health professionals have marked World AIDS Day by calling for redoubled efforts despite signs that treatment is giving relief to millions of sufferers. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst hit by the 30-year pandemic. The global anti-poverty group ONE warned on Monday that there was no end in sight to AIDS worldwide despite better access to antiretroviral medications for patients. ONE, ... Read More »

Ebola death toll nears 7,000: WHO

The World Health Organization has dramatically revised the death toll from the Ebola outbreak. Almost 7,000 have died from the virus - adding 1,200 more to a count released days ago. Nearly 7,000 people mainly in West Africa have died in what is the worst outbreak of Ebola, the World Health Organization said at the weekend. It is an abrupt increase of just over 1,200 deaths compared to its previous report, released days ago. A WHO spokesman said the steep hike in fatalities, mainly in Liberia, was mainly "a reconciliation of historical numbers" and not due to new deaths in recent days. The UN's health agency has previously said it believes there are far more deaths than actually registered. A total of 16,169 people have been infected with Ebola since the outbreak was confirmed at the beginning of this year. All but 15 of the total deaths have been in the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The outbreak has reached five other countries. Last week, Ebola vaccine researchers said they were encouraged by the results of an initial clinical trial, in which volunteers developed antibodies needed to fight the virus. The rapid spread of Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, has left health agencies and pharmaceutical companies scrambling to fast-track experimental drugs and vaccines. On Friday, British scientists also announced trials on a 15-minute test for the Ebola virus, which is six times faster than existing tests. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.

The World Health Organization has dramatically revised the death toll from the Ebola outbreak. Almost 7,000 have died from the virus – adding 1,200 more to a count released days ago. Nearly 7,000 people mainly in West Africa have died in what is the worst outbreak of Ebola, the World Health Organization said at the weekend. It is an abrupt ... Read More »

WHO warns on HIV spread in Europe and Central Asia

Health officials say Europe and Central Asia must do more to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with some 136,000 people being infected last year. Russia is particularly at risk, they say. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday that the HIV/AIDS virus remains a very present danger in Europe and Central Asia, with 80 percent more new HIV cases in 2013 compared with 2004. Figures from the WHO and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed that altogether 136,235 people were registered as having been newly infected by HIV in 2013, more than 105,000 of them in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). Eighty thousand of these cases were in Russia, according to the report, which was released ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1. Compared with 2004, EECA has thus seen a doubling of new HIV cases, while European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries have remained at a constant rate of infection, despite advances in treating and preventing the virus. The report said an HIV epidemic among drug users was the main cause of the increase in EECA, while sex between men accounted for 42 percent of new cases in 2013 in the EU/EEA, making it the largest single source of infection. Overall, however, heterosexual contact was the main form of transmission, the report said. Incurable virus The HIV virus - an abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus -, which was discovered more than three decades ago, attacks the immune system, causing those infected to suffer a lifelong illness. It leads in its end stage to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), which comes about when the immune system has been destroyed, leaving sufferers exposed to a multitude of infectious diseases. HIV is spread via blood, semen and breast milk, with drug users and bisexual and gay men at particular risk. Thursday's report also said that while reported AIDS cases had declined by 48 percent in the EU/EEA in the past decade, the number of new AIDS cases in EECA had increased more than three times. Some 1.5 million people die as a result of HIV/AIDS across the world every year, according to United Nations figures, with 35 million people currently living with an infection.

Health officials say Europe and Central Asia must do more to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with some 136,000 people being infected last year. Russia is particularly at risk, they say. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday that the HIV/AIDS virus remains a very present danger in Europe and Central Asia, with 80 percent more new HIV cases in ... Read More »

Ebola researchers hopeful after promising vaccine results

Ebola vaccine researchers say they are "encouraged" by the results of an initial clinical trial, in which volunteers developed antibodies needed to fight the virus. But the end product is still some time away. Interim findings from a Phase 1 trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine showed it caused no serious side effects, and produced an immune response in participants within four weeks. The tests began in September and were conducted on 20 healthy adults, who were injected with a higher or lower dose of the vaccine. The results showed a significantly better immune response with a higher dose of vaccine - meaning those volunteers receiving a higher dose produced more antibodies than those on a lower dose. In addition, two of the lower dose group and seven in the higher developed a crucial kind of immune cell called CD8 T cells, an important part of the body's response against disease. The vaccine itself did not expose the volunteers to the virus - instead, it contained genetic material from two Ebola strains. It used a modified chimpanzee cold virus to deliver segments of the genetic material - without the ability to spread through the body like Ebola, but able to prompt the antibody response. The results were published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. 'Encouraging' "The safety profile is encouraging, as is the finding that the higher dose of vaccine induced an immune response quite comparable to that which has completely protected [lab] animals from Ebola," said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The NIAID is developing the intramuscular vaccine alongside Okairos, a biotechnology company owned by GlaxoSmithKline. None of the volunteers experienced serious side effects within the study period. Two, however, had a brief and mild fever 24 hours after the injection. Fauci cautioned that the vaccine is still a long way from use in the field. No announcement on larger-scale trials is expected before early next year. The trial is still ongoing and will monitor the participants for 48 weeks. The rapid spread of the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, has left health agencies and pharmaceutical companies scrambling to fast-track experimental drugs and vaccines. The virus has killed some 5,500 people this year, mostly in West Africa.

Ebola vaccine researchers say they are “encouraged” by the results of an initial clinical trial, in which volunteers developed antibodies needed to fight the virus. But the end product is still some time away. Interim findings from a Phase 1 trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine showed it caused no serious side effects, and produced an immune response in participants ... Read More »

Bubonic plague festers in Madagascar’s slums

The bubonic plague: it still gives Europeans the creeps, centuries after it wiped out swathes of Europe. The disease still exists; Peru, China and the US regularly report cases. But one island isparticularly hard hit. Ankasina is a poor and overcrowded slum on the northern edge of Madagascar's capital city Antananarivo. Waste water flows through open gutters; dirt and garbage collects in heaps on the streets. The area is infested with rats, local residents say. Many blame the state for neglecting the neighborhood. And now, the rats have brought in an even bigger problem: the plague. For the first time in ten years, the disease has started to spread in Madagascar's capital. A young woman from Ankasina died from the bubonic plague; she most likely contracted it after being bitten by a flea, which had contracted the bacteria from the rodents. She is one of 47 people who have died in the current outbreak on the island. Warm climate, poor hygiene Madagascar's Prime Minister Kolo Roger admits that the plague has now also entered the capital city. He speaks of an epidemic on the island. "For each case, all the necessary measures have been taken to stop the spreading," he announced. "All cases, whether far away or in the capital of Antananarivo are being dealt with seriously." Madagascar is among the poorest countries in the world. Most people live on less than two US dollars per day. The health system is insufficient; in some rural areas it is hard to find a doctor at all. This makes people there vulnerable to infections in general, especially to disease transmitted by rodents and insects. "Madagascar has been prone to plague outbreaks sporadically for many years," says Brendan Wren, an expert in infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The warm climate there was especially suitable for rodents and fleas transmitting the plague, he says. "But general hygiene is also a problem, for example, in overcrowded prisons." Fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes Though the health ministry has announced that 200 households have been disinfected in a pest control campaign in slum areas around the city, the World Health Organization (WHO) is alarmed. "We have never have seen so many cases in such a short time like now in Madagascar," the organization's spokesman Christian Lindmeier told DW. The organization has dispatched an expert to Antananarivo to assist local authorities contain the situation. "The main thing to do now to find and stop the source of the infection," Lindmeier said. "Insecticides have to be used against the fleas - which is the biggest challenge right now since these fleas have been found to be very resistant against the insecticides used." The plague kills about one in ten patients who are infected. Patients first develop high fever, headache and painful swelling in lymph glands. In extreme cases, the patient's skin turns dark purple. Once diagnossed, patients can be treated with antibiotics. If they are diagnossed early on, they have better chances of recovering. But some of the strains found on Madagascar were found to be resistant to the antibiotics, according to Brendan Wren. He said it might be impossible to ever fully eradicate the disease. No vaccine yet "A longer term solution would be a good vaccine," Wren said, adding that one had yet to be developed. For now, people in Madagascar need to rely on existing antibiotics and insecticides in the fight the plague. And they will have to live with the fear of rats and fleas infesting their neighborhoods.

The bubonic plague: it still gives Europeans the creeps, centuries after it wiped out swathes of Europe. The disease still exists; Peru, China and the US regularly report cases. But one island isparticularly hard hit. Ankasina is a poor and overcrowded slum on the northern edge of Madagascar’s capital city Antananarivo. Waste water flows through open gutters; dirt and garbage ... Read More »

WHO: Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar

مڈغاسکر میں طاعون کی وبا پھیلنے کے نتیجے میں کم از کم 40 افراد ہلاک ہو گئے ہیں۔ حکام کے مطابق اگست سے اب تک بیکٹیریا سے پھیلنے والی اس بیماری سے 119 افراد متاثر ہوئے ہیں۔ عالمی ادارہ صحت نے خبردار کیا ہے کہ مڈغاسکر میں صحت عامہ کے ابتر نظام کی وجہ سے یہ وبا مزید پھیل سکتی ہے۔ عالمی ادارہ صحت نے کہا ہے کہ وہ اس وبا کے پھیلاؤ کو روکنے کے لیے ریڈکراس اور مقامی طبی انتظامیہ کے ساتھ مل کر دو لاکھ ڈالر کے ایک منصوبے پر کام کر رہا ہے۔ خیال رہے کہ طاعون کی بیماری مردہ چوہوں سے جنم لیتی ہے اور حشرات کے ذریعے پھیلتی ہے۔

A bubonic plague outbreak has killed 40 people in Madagascar. The WHO warns there is a risk the disease could spread rapidly in the capital Antananarivo, where there is high population density and poor sanitation. The UN health agency said at least 119 cases of infection had been confirmed across the Indian Ocean island nation since the first plague victim ... Read More »

Scroll To Top