In Ivory Coast, telemedicine revolution proves blessing for heart patients

by David ESNAULT Agence France Presse Bouaké, Ivory Coast (AFP) — Every time Catherine Coulibaly’s 19-year-old son had to make a routine appointment with the cardiologist for his heart condition, she gritted her teeth as she silently counted the financial cost. It wasn’t just the hospital fee — there was the transport, food and accommodation, too, all of it amounting to a hefty burden for an Ivorian family on a modest income. But thanks to […]

Vaccines: Trends, mistrust and consequences

by Paul RICARD PARIS, France (AFP) — Vaccines have saved tens of millions of lives but immunization rates have stagnated in recent years due in part to fake news stories claiming vaccinations can cause measles, autism or sterility. Here are some key facts about vaccinations: Trends  Immunization prevents two to three million deaths every year, and could prevent another 1.5 million if vaccination programs were fully implemented. But vaccination rates have “dangerously” stalled, according to […]

US to ban flavored vaping products as lung disease cases surge

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US President Donald Trump’s administration announced Wednesday it would soon ban flavored e-cigarette products to stem a rising tide of youth users, following a spike in vaping-linked deaths. The move could later be extended to an outright prohibition of vaping if adolescents migrate to tobacco flavors, seen as more legitimate products that help smokers quit their habit. Addressing reporters at the White House, the president said that […]

What is dengue, and why is it so widespread this year?

by Jenny VAUGHAN HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — Dubbed “breakbone fever”, dengue is one of the world’s leading mosquito-borne illnesses and infects tens of millions across the globe annually. Around half of the planet’s population live in at-risk areas, mainly in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Explosive outbreaks have ravaged Southeast Asia this year, infecting hundreds of thousands, killing hundreds, and crippling health care systems as governments struggle to contain the untreatable virus. So what is […]

Shorter people run higher risk of diabetes: study

PARIS, France (AFP) — Shorter people are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published Tuesday. Each additional 10 centimeters in height translates into a 41 percent smaller chance of contracting the disease in men and a 33 percent smaller chance in women, according to the research in medical journal Diabetologia. The greater health risk in shorter individuals is likely linked to higher liver fat content, and a larger number […]

Mosquito trials raise hopes of defeating dengue

by Jenny VAUGHAN NHA TRANG, Vietnam (AFP) — Hundreds dead in the Philippines; a threefold increase of cases in Vietnam; hospitals overrun in Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia — dengue is ravaging Southeast Asia this year due in part to rising temperatures and low immunity to new strains. But one group of scientists is rolling out trials to breed dengue-resistant bugs in a bid to tackle one of the world’s leading mosquito-borne illnesses, raising hopes the […]

Global measles cases triple year-on-year: WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Measles cases nearly tripled globally during the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2018, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, amid growing concern over public resistance to the vaccine. So far this year, 364,808 measles cases were reported around the world, compared to 129,239 cases during the first seven months a year earlier. These numbers are “the highest (registered) since 2006,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier […]

US seniors fulfill dreams, fight depression with virtual reality

by Leila MACOR Agence France Presse Nidia Silva had never realized her dream of swimming with dolphins until a Miami NGO gave her a pair of virtual reality glasses as part of an experimental treatment for depression and isolation in senior citizens. “You’re in a world you don’t know, but it’s very beautiful and very important for me to see,” 78-year-old Silva said after taking off the virtual reality (VR) goggles. She was sitting in […]

Kampanya para sa pagpapatupad ng smoke-free environment mula sa paninigarilyo, pinalakas

Report by Erwin Temperante Eagle News — Nasa ikalawang taon na ang kautusan para sa Smoke Free Philippines. Ikinasiya naman ng Dept. of Health na bumaba ang kaso ng atake sa puso dahil sa pag-iral ng smoke-free environment dahil sa paninigarilyo. Muling ipinaalala ng health dept ang magandang dulot ng smoke-free environment sa publiko. Ito ang tema ng ikalawang taon paggunita ng doh sa pagpapatupad ng Executive Order No.26 o ang smoke free ph na […]

Swine fever sends China’s pork prices, imports soaring

by Sébastien RICCI BEIJING, China (AFP) — Pork prices have been sent soaring and herds devastated as African swine fever tears through China’s massive pig-farming industry, forcing the country to ramp up imports to satisfy demand — but analysts warn worse is yet to come. More than 1.1 million pigs have been killed or culled so far as authorities scramble to contain a virus that has spread to neighboring countries since the first cases emerged […]

Germany makes measles vaccination compulsory for children

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Germany will make childhood measles vaccinations mandatory from March 2020, aiming to wipe out the resurgent and potentially deadly disease, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet decided Wednesday. Children will only be admitted to kindergarten or school if they have had the jabs, and vaccinations will also be compulsory for staff in day-care centres, educational institutions, medical facilities and refugee shelters. “We want to protect as many children as possible from a measles […]

DR Congo urges calm after Ebola case in key city

by Bienvenu-Marie BAKUMANYA KINSHASA, DR Congo (AFP) — Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have appealed for calm after an evangelical preacher fell ill with Ebola in the eastern city of Goma, the first recorded case of the disease in the key urban hub in a nearly year-old epidemic. Goma, a border city with a population of one million, lies next to the Rwandan town of Gisenyi and has transport links to other parts […]