The Health News Australia December 10 2017

  • University of Queensland research into dementia, cancer, superbugs, painkillers, and children’s health are among 51 projects that will benefit from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2018 Project Grant funding. The medical grants body’s $42.88 million allocation for UQ research projects is almost $10 million more than the $32.98 million it granted the University in 2017.
  • According to Professor David Currow of the Cancer Institute New South Wales, the idea that low-level smoking doesn’t do you any harm is a dangerous myth. Even occasional smokers  are still exposed to long-term risks. As well as lung cancer, there are at least 13 other cancers linked with smoking. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2016) showed that of Australians over the age of 14, 12.2 per cent smoked daily, 1 percent smoked weekly and another 1 percent smoked less than weekly.
  • Volunteering groups are warning the disability sector could lose thousands of volunteers due to funding uncertainty under the national disability insurance scheme. Volunteers play a critical role in the disability sector but there is already a significant shortage of those willing to help. Volunteering Australia, the peak body for volunteering groups, has also expressed concern about a shortfall under the NDIS. Volunteering Australia said there was a misalignment between the level of community interest in volunteering and the number of positions that needed to be bridged.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 10th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://health.uq.edu.au/article/2017/12/429m-bolster-uq-health-research

University of Queensland research into dementia, cancer, superbugs, painkillers, and children’s health are among fifty one projects that will benefit from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) two thousand eighteen Project Grant funding. The medical grants body’s forty two point eighty eight million dollars allocation for UQ research projects is almost ten million dollars more than the thirty two point ninety eighty million it granted the University in two thousand seventeen. Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said UQ’s health research focused on practical solutions for medical conditions affecting millions of people around the world.
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Close to half of UQ’s two thousand eighteen funding will go to the Faculty of Medicine, accounting for twenty million dollars across eighteen projects. Another ten projects at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience will share seven point eight million dollars. Faculty of Medicine intensive care specialist Professor Andreas Schibler received two grants totalling four point five million dollars, including two point sixty three million dollars for research into acute respiratory failure – the most common reason children are admitted to hospital.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-12-07/will-an-occasional-cigarette-damage-your-health/9087438

According to Professor David Currow of the Cancer Institute New South Wales, the idea that low-level smoking doesn’t do you any harm is a dangerous myth. Social smokers often don’t think of themselves as smokers, so they don’t believe health warnings about smoking apply to  them. But the bottom line is every cigarette exposes your body to harmful chemicals. The professor added: “There’s no safe level of smoking. What’s more, the negative health effects add up across your life.”

Groups of low-level or occasional smokers include: The social smoker: Tends to only smoke in social settings, like at the pub or when out with friends;  The binge smoker: Smokes a lot more at certain times than others, such as at the weekend;  The low-level smoker: Only smokes a few cigarettes a day or just smokes occasionally. Simon Chapman, Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney said: “Smoking a small number of cigarettes, say less than four a day or once a week does elevate your risk of health problems.”
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Even if you smoke only occasionally, you are still exposed to long-term risks. As well as lung cancer, there are at least thirteen other cancers linked with smoking. Smoking damages DNA in cells, including in key genes that protect you against cancer. Although smoking rates have been on a downward trend, it is unclear whether the rate of social smokers in Australia is changing. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (two thousand sixteen) showed that of Australians over the age of fourteen, twelve point two percent smoked daily, one percent smoked weekly and another one percent smoked less than weekly.  Within twelve hours of your last cigarette, blood carbon monoxide levels are much lower and after a year, the risk of coronary heart disease will be half of what it once was as a smoker. If you quit before the age of thirty five, your life expectancy will be much the same as someone who has never smoked.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/08/disability-sector-risks-losing-volunteers-over-ndis-uncertainty-groups-warn

Volunteering groups are warning the disability sector could lose thousands of volunteers due to funding uncertainty under the national disability insurance scheme. Volunteers play a critical role in the disability sector but there is already a significant shortage of those willing to help. Volunteers are wrongly assuming the National disability Insurance Scheme is all-encompassing, and that their help is no longer needed in the sector. Volunteering groups are warning the situation is likely to deteriorate as the NDIS transition picks up pace. They face significant uncertainty about how they will be funded under the NDIS, if at all.

Interchange Incorporated – a not-for-profit that supports volunteering agencies in the disability sector – is now warning of a shortfall in disability volunteers, which could have a catastrophic effect on the sector. Executive officer Kerry Uren said :“Some of the agencies that are currently transitioning are unable to plan for what they’re doing with their volunteer programs.

Similar concerns were raised by the Productivity Commission earlier this year, which warned that volunteer organisations were finding it difficult to work out how to provide support to people with a disability under the NDIS. The commission urged the national disability insurance agency to consider funding volunteer organisations for the initial costs of connecting NDIS participants with volunteers and for the ongoing costs of volunteer management.
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Volunteering Australia, the peak body for volunteering groups, has also expressed concern about a shortfall under the NDIS. Volunteering Australia said there was a misalignment between the level of community interest in volunteering and the number of positions that needed to be bridged.

Concerns about volunteers form part of a broader fear about workforce shortages in the disability sector under the NDIS. At full operation, the scheme will require a workforce of one hundred sixty two thousand people. That will require eighty thousand additional disability support care workers in the next two years.

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