The Health News United Kingdom March 1 2018

  • A UN report has found abortion laws in Northern Ireland violate the human rights of women here. The report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said by unduly restricting abortion to women in Northern Ireland the UK was breaching the rights of women living there. The reports finds that by restricting access to abortion in Northern Ireland the UK is responsible for “grave” and “systematic” violations of women’s rights. The UN Body said that restrictive abortion laws in Northern Ireland are in breach of the UK’s international human rights obligations and called on the UK Government to change the law to decriminalise abortion and to provide greater access to abortion for women and girls in the region.
  • Diabetes UK has found that the number of people with diabetes has more than doubled in the last 20 years in the UK. The charity said the condition is the “fastest growing health crisis of our time” as it said the number of people diagnosed with the condition has reached almost 3.7 million – an increase of 1.9 million since 1998. According to the charity’s analysis, a further 12.3 million people are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • A government-funded study has found that general practitioners are fuelling the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance by wrongly giving antibiotics to one in five patients who has a cough or sore throat. Family doctors are displaying “substantial inappropriate antibiotic prescribing” when dealing with patients who have an infection, according to research published by Public Health England, the government’s public health advisers. Of the 32.5 million antibiotics GPs in England prescribe every year “at least” 20%– 6.3 million – are unnecessary, a panel of experts has concluded.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/northern-ireland-abortion-laws-violate-womens-rights-says-united-nations-36636678.html

A United Nations report has found abortion laws in Northern Ireland violate the human rights of women here. The report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said by unduly restricting abortion to women in Northern Ireland the UK was breaching the rights of women living there. The committee’s vice-chairwoman, Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, said in a statement: “Denial of abortion and criminalisation of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need. And it puts women in horrific situations.”

The reports finds that by restricting access to abortion in Northern Ireland the UK is responsible for “grave” and “systematic” violations of women’s rights. The UN Body said that restrictive abortion laws in Northern Ireland are in breach of the UK’s international human rights obligations and called on the UK Government to change the law to decriminalise abortion and to provide greater access to abortion for women and girls in the region.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s campaigns manager in Northern Ireland, said: “This damning report from the United Nations confirms what Amnesty has long said – Northern Ireland’s draconian abortion laws are a daily violation of the rights of women and girls. The UN Committee is very clear that it is the UK Government which is responsible for ensuring that our laws are in line with the state’s international human rights obligations.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/diabetes-cases-have-more-than-doubled-in-uk-over-last-20-years-charity-finds-a3776366.html

A charity has found that the number of people with diabetes has more than doubled in the last twenty years in the UK. Diabetes UK said the condition is the “fastest growing health crisis of our time” as it said the number of people diagnosed with the condition has reached almost three point seven million – an increase of one point nine million since nineteen ninety eight.

According to the charity’s analysis, a further twelve point three million people are at an increased risk of type two diabetes. Meanwhile, the number of people diagnosed with Type one or Type two diabetes has increased by almost one hundred thousand since last year – from three million five hundred ninety thousand five hundred one to three million six hundred eighty-nine thousand five hundred nine. Bradford has the UK’s highest prevalence of diabetes, with one in ten people (ten point four percent) in the West Yorkshire city diagnosed with the condition.

The charity found that the lowest prevalence is in Richmond, south-west London, where just three point six percent of people are living with a diagnosis. The national average is six point six percent.

The charity also estimates that there are nearly one million people who have diabetes but are not aware of it. Almost nine in ten people diagnosed with diabetes have type two diabetes, which has been linked to lifestyle factors such as obesity.

Diabetes UK has called on the Government to introduce stricter restrictions both on junk food advertising to children and supermarket price promotions for unhealthy foods. Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for diabetes and obesity at NHS England said: “This is important work that shines a light on the growing obesity crisis sweeping the country.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/27/fifth-of-prescribed-antibiotics-are-unnecessary-study-finds

A government-funded study has found that general practitioners are fuelling the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance by wrongly giving antibiotics to one in five patients who has a cough or sore throat. Family doctors are displaying “substantial inappropriate antibiotic prescribing” when dealing with patients who have an infection, according to research published by Public Health England, the government’s public health advisers.

Of the thirty two point five million antibiotics GPs in England prescribe every year “at least” twenty percent – six point three million – are unnecessary, a panel of experts has concluded. They said only ten percent of patients with an acute cough should be given antibiotics, but forty one percent received the drugs, they discovered when they examined GP records. Senior doctors and Jeremy Hunt, the health and social care secretary, seized on the overprescription to urge GPs to do more to thwart the growing ineffectiveness of some antibiotics, which leads to about twenty five thousand deaths a year in Europe.

The findings of the study – the first to quantify the number of antibiotics issued inappropriately in primary care – has led to renewed pressure on GPs to prescribe fewer. They discovered that GPs record no clinical reason for issuing the antibiotics in a third of all prescriptions.

….
Hunt said GPs had cut the number of antibiotics issued by five percent since two thousand twelve but added “we need to go further and faster otherwise we risk a world where superbugs kill more people a year than cancer and routine operations become too dangerous”. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, who chairs the Royal College of GPs, suggested that family doctors’ heavy workloads and the widespread shortage of family doctors were partly to blame for over-prescription.

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