LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization called on developing countries on Thursday to invest $1 per person per year until 2030 to tackle 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and improve the health and well-being of more than 1.5 billion people.
Forecasting a total of $34 billion needed to fight NTDs for the next 16 years, the WHO said governments whose people are blinded, disfigured and killed by such diseases should recognize the great potential human and economic return on tackling them.
LONDON (Reuters) – Global progress toward tackling obesity has been “unacceptably slow”, health experts said on Wednesday, with only one in four countries implementing a policy on healthy eating before 2010.
In a series of studies published in The Lancet medical journal, researchers said that in less than a generation, rates of child obesity have risen dramatically worldwide, yet few countries have taken regulatory steps to protect children or implemented recommended healthy food policies.
LONDON (Reuters) – Studies on the health impact of “plain” or standardized cigarette packs suggest they can deter non-smokers from taking up the habit and may cut the number of cigarettes smokers get through, scientists said on Tuesday.
In a collection of scientific papers in the journal Addiction, researchers said that while standardized packs were still too new to provide substantial evidence, studies so far showed they were likely to reduce smoking rates.
LONDON (Reuters) – Global health charity Medecins du Monde (MdM) launched a legal challenge on Tuesday to a European patent held by U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc which it accused of charging “exorbitant” prices for a hepatitis C drug.
Arguing that Gilead is “abusing” its patent on Sovaldi, known generically as sofosbuvir, MdM said its challenge marked the first time in Europe a medical charity has used this method to try and improve patients’ access to medicines.
LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Nutrition and health specialists
criticised a study on Monday which argued that dietary fat
advice given in the United States and Britain was based on
flimsy evidence and should not have been introduced.
The study, published in the Open Heart journal, said
national advice on fat consumption issued to millions of Britons
and Americans in 1977 and 1983 with the aim of reducing heart
disease “lacked any solid trial evidence to back it up”.
LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it remained worried about the spread of MERS, a respiratory disease that has infected and killed hundreds of people, overwhelmingly in Saudi Arabia.
In an update issued after a meeting of its emergency committee on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, the United Nations health agency said more must be done to track the virus, which is known to have infected at least 965 people, of whom some 357 have died.
LONDON (Reuters) – A global fund should be created to speed development of much-needed new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of drug-resistant superbugs, a British-government backed review said on Thursday.
The review, headed by the leading economist and former Goldman Sachs chief Jim O’Neill, said far too little is currently invested in research that could lead to new drugs to fight drug-resistant bacterial and viral infections.
LONDON (Reuters) – Almost $2.9 billion was pledged by the end of 2014 in donations to fight West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, yet only around 40 percent had actually reached affected countries, researchers said on Tuesday.
A study by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that tracked international donations showed barely $1.09 billion had reached the worst affected countries by the end of last year, they said.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Tuesday could become the first country to allow a “three-parent” IVF technique which doctors say will prevent some inherited incurable diseases but which critics see as a step towards creating designer babies.
Parliament will vote on the technique, called mitochondrial donation, which would be a medical world first for Britain but is fiercely disputed by some religious groups and other critics.
LONDON, (Reuters) – Campaigners urged British lawmakers on Sunday to seize a chance to become the first in the world to allow three-way fertility treatments to families who want to avoid passing on incurable diseases to their children.
In an open letter ahead of a parliamentary vote scheduled for Tuesday, charities and advocacy groups said the opportunity “offers families the first glimmer of hope that they might be able to have a baby that will live without pain and suffering.”