The Health News Australia January 17 2018

  • A major player in the global cannabis market says Australia is not likely to become a big producer of cannabis. The Federal Government recently approved the export of medicinal cannabis products such as oils, sprays, tablets and patches. But Brendan Kennedy, president of Canadian cannabis producer, Tilray, said the potential for Australia to export the raw material was limited. The Federal Government’s announcement means finished medicinal cannabis products, such as cannabis oil and cannabis flowers or ‘bud’, will be permitted for export but bulk raw material for processing elsewhere in the world will not.
  • A new report reveals how successful immunisation has been in dramatically reducing the number of childhood deaths from infectious diseases in Australia. Parents are reminded to talk with their doctor to ensure children are fully vaccinated following a review of vaccine preventable deaths in NSW over the past decade. Child deaths due to vaccine preventable diseases are now rare in Australia, 23 deaths still occurred between 2005 and 2014 that could have been prevented by vaccines that were available at the time.
  • Melbourne is facing a rapid increase in cases of the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis and gonorrhoea. Data from the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic shows the number of gonorrhoea infections has increased 30% annually since 2015. For the first 9 months of 2017, the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic diagnosed 280 cases of syphilis and the final figure for the year is expected to be more than 370.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-01-15/tilray-medicinal-cannabis-exports-cultivation/9321036

A major player in the global cannabis market says Australia is not likely to become a big producer of cannabis. The Federal Government recently approved the export of medicinal cannabis products such as oils, sprays, tablets and patches. But Brendan Kennedy, president of Canadian cannabis producer, Tilray, said the potential for Australia to export the raw material was limited. He added: “Countries such as Columbia and the Congo, any country around the equator has geographic advantages and while the price per kilogram of this product today is very high at the moment, at some point it will start to look like other agricultural products.”

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Mister Kennedy said the global market for recreational cannabis was already two hundred billion dollars and the medicinal cannabis market was likely to grow quickly.
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The Federal Government’s announcement means finished medicinal cannabis products, such as cannabis oil and cannabis flowers or ‘bud’, will be permitted for export but bulk raw material for processing elsewhere in the world will not.
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Tilray is involved in four different trials of medicinal cannabis products in Australia, involving cancer and epilepsy patients and the impact of cannabinoids on oral health, users’ ability to drive, and their emotional response to the drug.
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Mister Kennedy thought Australia could succeed in the global pharmaceutical market because of the strict standards here and the government focus on research, and that was probably where Australian companies would need to focus.

https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2018/01/11/report-a-reminder-for-parents-that-vaccines-saves-lives.html

A new report reveals how successful immunisation has been in dramatically reducing the number of childhood deaths from infectious diseases in Australia. Parents are reminded to talk with their doctor to ensure children are fully vaccinated following a review of vaccine preventable deaths in New South Wales over the past decade.

The review, ‘Child Deaths from Vaccine Preventable Infectious Diseases, New South Wales two thousand five to two thousand fourteen’, from the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance and University of Sydney was published recently in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The findings, which were also previously tabled in a report to New South Wales State Parliament commissioned by the New South Wales Child Death Review Team (CDRT), found that while child deaths due to vaccine preventable diseases are now rare in Australia, twenty three deaths still occurred between two thousand five and two thousand fourteen that could have been prevented by vaccines that were available at the time. Another thirty deaths were not considered preventable at the time, although fifteen would now be covered by new vaccines.

The majority of deaths were due to influenza, meningococcal disease and pneumococcal disease, with most deaths occurring in babies under six months of age. Several deaths were due to whooping cough. A third of the children also had health problems that put them at high risk of severe disease.

NCIRS Acting Director and University of Sydney Professor Kristine Macartney said the report highlighted the need for parents and healthcare professionals to follow the recommendations in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.
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The influenza vaccine is recommended in the Australian Immunisation Handbook for all children, particularly those under five years of age.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-16/gonorrhoea-and-syphilis-on-the-rise-in-melbourne/9332636

Melbourne is facing a rapid increase in cases of the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis and gonorrhoea. Data from the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic shows the number of gonorrhoea infections has increased thirty percent annually since two thousand fifteen.

Medical services manager Marcus Chen said the re-emergence of syphilis and gonorrhoea had occurred among heterosexual men and women and the popularity of online dating could be a factor.
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Mister Chen added: “There may be changes in sexual risk, there may be changes in sexual networks and as we know a lot of people are now meeting online.” The clinic is still finalising its data for two thousand seventeen, but about two thousand two hundred people were diagnosed with gonorrhoea for the year, up from one thousand seven hundred nineteen cases in two thousand sixteen. The two thousand sixteen figure was also thirty percent higher than two thousand fifteen.
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The number of syphilis cases has risen every year since two thousand ten, when there were fewer than one hundred diagnosed cases. The number more than tripled by two thousand sixteen, when there were more than three hundred fifty cases. For the first nine months of two thousand seventeen, the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic diagnosed two hundred eighty cases of syphilis and the final figure for the year is expected to be more than three hundred seventy.

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