Public health law coverage in support of the health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs) among 33 Western Pacific countries
Yuri Lee et al.,
A resilient health system is inevitable in attaining the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. One way of strengthening health systems is to improve the coverage of public health laws for better health governance. The aim of this study is to describe the public health law situation in the Western Pacific Region, and analyse the association of public health law coverage with health-related SDGs statistics.
Inter-species transmission of avian influenza virus to dogs: 10 years experience
Daesub Song et al.,
Influenza viruses have continuously evolved into multiple mutant strains from several regions, resulting in aggravated endemic or epidemic outbreak conditions. In the 2000s, several outbreaks of inter-species transmission were reported, such as, the avian H3N2 influenza virus that crossed the host barrier to dogs. Studies on sero-prevalence and artificial infection suggested the possibility of co-infection of and reassortment between the two viruses in dogs; later, H3N1 and variants of M-variant H3N2 reassortants between pandemic H1N1/2009 and prototype H3N2 CIV were isolated. Our findings emphasized the necessity of intensive monitoring for influenza infection in companion animals for investigating the potential for the emergence of novel human influenza strains.
Dengue in Central Visayas nearing epidemic stage
After ending its measles vaccination campaign, the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is turning its attention on the rising number of dengue cases. In a weekly media forum, DOH regional medical officer Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato said the rise in dengue cases in the region for the period from January 1 to March 30 was alarming. Based on DOH’s comparative analysis, dengue cases usually increase every two years. Buscato said the five-year average number of cases is 10 percent higher than is recommended to declare an epidemic.
Southeast Asia Strategic Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity
Anita Cicerot al.,
Numerous risk factors in Southeast Asia increase the vulnerability of this region to natural, deliberate, and accidental biological threats. Countries in the region have made major progress in fighting infectious diseases within their own borders; however, the widespread geographic population distribution—ranging from remote, rural villages to densely populated cities—combined with highly mobile populations (e.g., tourists, migrant workers, displaced persons) and areas of porous international borders create a dynamic human–animal–plant–environment (i.e., One Health) interface that enhances the susceptibility of the region to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases.
Can biometric tracking improve healthcare provision and data quality? Experimental evidence from tuberculosis control in India
Thomas Bossuroy et al.,
This paper examines the benefits of using a biometric monitoring device to improve service delivery and reduce misreporting in tuberculosis control efforts in India. The authors partnered with Operation ASHA, the largest NGO delivering primary care to TB patients in India, to randomise the roll-out of biometric devices across 131 treatment centres, each covering a population of over 20,000 individuals, located in urban slums across four states in Northern India. The technology was designed to perform three main functions: ensuring that patients themselves received their drugs from the health worker; generating alerts when they failed to take their pills, which facilitated rapid follow-up by health workers; and creating a real-time tool for program managers to monitor attendance and performance of health workers. The devices also drastically cut the scope for health workers to alter health records by over-reporting new cases or under-reporting instances of treatment interruption.
Yellow fever: is Asia prepared for an epidemic?
Annelies Wilder-Smith et al.,
This decade, the number of travellers exporting yellow fever virus to non-endemic countries is at a record high. Furthermore, in 2016, for the first time in documented history, confirmed yellow fever virus was exported in travellers from Africa to Asia, where about 2 billion immunologically naive people live in areas inhabited by the Aedes aegypti mosquito vector and are at risk for transmission. The case-fatality rate of yellow fever is among the highest of all arboviral diseases, underscoring the threat of a newly emerging epidemic disease problem in Asia. Why outbreaks of yellow fever have not yet occurred in Asia is unknown. Country capacity building under the IHR, supported by the Joint External Evaluation, has increased preparedness and response capabilities to a range of public health threats. However, whether preparedness for epidemic vector-borne diseases such as yellow fever has been increased is uncertain.
A billion more people risk getting Zika, dengue
The analysis tracked the expected movement of two of the most common disease-carrying mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, by looking at predicted future temperatures to gauge risks up to 2050 and to 2080. Those at risk can help lower the threat through measures such as using insect spray, putting screens on windows and removing excess trash and water from around the home... But the more effective way to limit expansion of the diseases is to curb climate change and further develop global programmes aimed at tracking and limiting the spread of mosquitoes.
Stanford researchers develop a simple new blood test for tuberculosis
Tuberculosis usually attacks patients’ lungs, so to test for the tuberculosis bacteria doctors need to get patients to cough up fluid – the technical term is sputum – from their lungs. Unfortunately, not everyone can cough up sputum. Kids and people with HIV/AIDS, for example, struggle to do so. One way to get around this problem would be to search blood and urine for tuberculosis bacteria DNA. The problem is that there is usually little DNA amidst a sea of proteins and other molecules.
Complexities in understanding antimicrobial resistance across domesticated animal, human, and environmental systems
David W. Graham et al.,
In this article we review research on the nonfoodborne spread of AMR, with a focus on domesticated animals and the environment and possible exposures to humans. Attention is especially placed on delineating possible sources and causes of AMR bacterial phenotypes, including underpinning the genetics important to human and animal health.
Opinion: India aspiring malaria-free status: the long and short of it
Dr Vas Dev
Malaria elimination is a buzz word and, given the present-day intervention tools, it has become reality. The world malarial map is shrinking with many countries having acquired malaria-free status. Among these, in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR) of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Maldives (2015) and Sri Lanka (2016) have been certified to be malaria free and Bhutan is fast approaching towards elimination in the foreseeable future. However, the road ahead to elimination is fraught with many bottlenecks. So much so that WHO has listed India among 11 ‘high burden to high impact’ countries for contributing 4% of the global malaria burden.