World Health Organisation (WHO)

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3D Printing: Saving Soles, One at a Time

Drew Turney | Brisbane Times | September 20, 2017

While some treatment and disability tools, such as wheelchairs, have a one-size-fits-all nature, many are personal to the individual needs of the user or their carers, and it's a tricky balance to manufacture them in small enough numbers to be cost effective for both manufacturers and patients. That's where 3D printing comes in – digitally scanning a user's unique body profile and building the solution on a one-off basis faster and cheaper than a factory tooled up for mass manufacture...

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A Major Lesson from Ebola: Pandemics Are Strongly Driven by Inequality

After more than a year since the Ebola pandemic appeared in West Africa, Liberia – one of the worst hit countries – has been declared free of the virus. However, the initial global response was not encouraging. Despite having the knowledge and technology needed to contain the outbreak, help was initially sluggish and poorly effective. This situation illustrates one of the major lessons from the history of pandemics: that they are strongly influenced by health inequalities. Pandemics are epidemics that spread widely and cross borders. In many respects, the world is a safer place for those concerned about these emerging infectious diseases – advances in science, particularly molecular biology, information technology, and epidemiology give us unprecedented tools for understanding, tracking and managing emerging threats...

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Australian High School Students Use Open Source to Make Shkreli's $750 Drug For Less Than $2

Press Release | University of Sydney | November 30, 2016

Sydney Grammar students, under the supervision of the University of Sydney and global members of the Open Source Malaria consortium, have reproduced an essential medicine in their high school laboratories. The drug, Daraprim, had been the subject of controversy when the price was hiked from US$13.50 to US$750 a dose last year. Daraprim - originally used as an antimalarial after its synthesis by Nobel Prize winner Gertrude Elion - is now more widely used as an anti-parasitic treatment for toxoplasmosis, which can be a dangerous disease for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, such as those living with HIV or AIDS...

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Breaking Good: School Students Make Costly Drug Cheaply Using Open Source Approach

Press Release | University of Sydney | November 30, 2016

Sydney Grammar students, under the supervision of the University of Sydney and global members of the Open Source Malaria consortium, have reproduced an essential medicine in their high school laboratories. The drug, Daraprim, had been the subject of controversy when the price was hiked from US $13.50 to US$750 a dose last year. Daraprim - originally used as an antimalarial after its synthesis by Nobel Prize winner Gertrude Elion - is now more widely used as an anti-parasitic treatment for toxoplasmosis, which can be a dangerous disease for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, such as those living with HIV or AIDS...

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Devil's Milk Could Be the Killer Ingredient in War on Superbugs

Bridie Smith | The Age | October 17, 2016

Devil's milk has proved to be an unlikely weapon in the increasingly desperate global fight against superbugs. Australian researchers have discovered that peptides contained in the milk of Tasmanian devils can kill some of the most deadly bacterial and fungal infections, including golden staph. Having scanned the devil's genome and discovered the six naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides, researchers from Sydney University set about replicating them artificially. They then tested the peptide's effectiveness at killing some of the most harmful bacteria known to humans...

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Drug Resistance Grows Menacingly

Nana Taona Kuo | Bangkok Post | December 21, 2015

Every five minutes a child in Southeast Asia dies from an infection caused by drug-resistant bacteria -- a situation that is likely to get worse. Anti-microbial resistance, which happens when micro-organisms become less susceptible to antibiotics, is making diseases more difficult to contain and harder to cure. Diseases we no longer fear, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, are re-emerging as major killers, as the tools we use to fight them become less effective.

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eHealth: Can ICTs Bring the Doctor Closer to Patients?

Kwami Ahiabenu | Graphic Online | June 15, 2016

Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), play an important role in improving healthcare delivery by providing new, innovative and efficient ways of connecting the patient to the doctor. They support quality care delivery by producing better data sets for information and knowledge management, assist in disease prevention and treatment; health monitoring,  diagnostic Information systems, supporting health system management processes including (planning, budget and financial functions) and supporting the emergency, ambulatory, organ donation systems as well as the disaster management systems and blood banks...

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Global Bio-Disaster Response Urgently Needed In Ebola Fight

World leaders are failing to address the worst ever Ebola epidemic, and states with biological-disaster response capacity, including civilian and military medical capability, must immediately dispatch assets and personnel to West Africa, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced today in a special briefing at the United Nations organized by the office of the UN Secretary General and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Read More »

Griffith Scientists Unlock the “Malaria Box”

Press Release | Griffith University | August 1, 2016

A “Malaria Box” that could hold the answer to discovering new drugs to treat tropical diseases and cancer has been created for researchers around the world. Griffith University tropical disease researchers have joined together with a host of international laboratories to advance drug discovery for major topical diseases through the creation and testing of the Malaria Box. In a paper published this week in the top journal PLoS Pathogens, the global team present findings on a panel of 400 chemical compounds – dubbed the “Malaria Box” – with potential application as therapeutic starting points for diseases like malaria, trypanosomiasis and toxoplasmosis.

How Superbugs Threaten Your Food And Life

Sanchita Sharma | Hindustan Times | May 10, 2014

...This worrying problem causing as much global concern as terrorism is antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics, the wonder drugs that made surgery safe and stopped disease outbreaks by preventing and curing all infections four decades ago, can no longer do so...

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Key Evidence Withheld as 'Trade Secret' in EU's Controversial Risk Assessment of Glyphosate

EFSA | Corporate Europe Observatory | February 17, 2016

Companies who make the pesticide glyphosate refuse to disclose key scientific evidence about its possible risks in the name of trade secrets protection. CEO appeals to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to disclose all the possible original elements of three key scientific studies it used in assessing glyphosate as “unlikely” to cause cancer to humans. We also call MEPs to reject the Trade Secrets Directive in the April 2016 plenary vote on the final text...

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New Antibiotic Alternative Traps and Eats Bacterial Toxins

BEC Crew | Science Alert | November 6, 2014

Researches in Switzerland have come up with what could be a viable alternative to antibiotics - cell structures called liposomes that can bait, trap and neutralise deadly bacterial toxins. As much trouble as we seem to be in right now due to the creeping issue of antibiotic resistance, imagine what the world would've looked like if the first antibiotic - penicillin - wasn’t discovered almost 90 years ago. We owe a great deal to this fungi-derived wonder-drug, but our absolute reliance on it has now put us at risk...

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Open Health Internet Tool Helps Track Medics in Africa

Justus Lyatuu | All Africa | May 20, 2015

Resource allocation towards reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) in Uganda is expected to improve after the country unveiled an online tracking tool. The new move is part of the East African Community support to member states, under the Open Health Initiative, in building sustainable networks that will improve women and children's health. Read More »

TB Drug Project Gets a Lease of Life

Jacob Koshy | The Hindu | December 20, 2016

There is also interest from BRICS countries to commit funds for research, says ICMR chief Read More »

The Grim Propect of Antibiotic Resistance

Staff Writer | The Economist | May 21, 2016

When people hear about antibiotic resistance creating “superbugs”, they tend to think of new diseases and pandemics spreading out of control. The real threat is less flamboyant, but still serious: existing problems getting worse, sometimes dramatically. Infections acquired in hospital are a prime example. They are already a problem, but with more antibiotic resistance they could become a much worse one. Elective surgery, such as hip replacements, now routine, would come to carry what might be seen as unacceptable risk. So might Caesarean sections. The risks of procedures which suppress the immune system, such as organ transplants and cancer chemotherapies, would increase...

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