The Health News Australia November 4 2017

  • A ‘super’ flu vaccine is being considered to protect vulnerable Australians in the wake of the country’s worst flu season on record. Figures reveal more than 217,000 Australians had confirmed cases of the virus this year, which is more than double the previous record of just over 100,000 in 2015.
  • A new nutrition tactic, jointly developed by UON researchers, with the aim of significantly reducing the obesity epidemic among young Australians, has the backing of the Australian Government. The feedAustralia program, which is currently being trialled in early childhood education and care settings by University of Newcastle (UON), translates world’s best nutritional know-how into an every day, ready-to-use menu planning tool, to support Australia’s 25,000 plus providers to meet National Quality Standard compliance among other benefits.
  • Lotions, apps, patches, wearables and more – if there’s a product out there that promises to be “sun safe”, a new research centre in Brisbane will be putting it to the test. The centre will be opened by QUT, in partnership with clinical trial company Q-Pharm.T. Doctor Elke Hacker from QUT who run the research centre. Despite sun smart campaigns, sunburn rates continue to be high, Dr Hacker says – especially among young people, with a study showing 72 per cent of Queenslanders aged 18-24 admit to getting sunburnt.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 4th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2017/11/03/07/04/super-flu-vaccine-to-be-rolled-out-australia

A ‘super’ flu vaccine is being considered to protect vulnerable Australians in the wake of the country’s worst flu season on record. A special meeting of Commonwealth health experts is being brought forward to also assess whether a new “sniff” vaccine should be introduced to the National Immunisation Scheme for children aged under five-years-old. Figures reveal more than two hundred seventeen thousand Australians had confirmed cases of the virus this year, which is more than double the previous record of just over one hundred thousand in two thousand fifteen.

Health Minister Greg Hunt told The Courier-Mail agreements had in-principle been reached with two companies to provide a stronger vaccine to target the elderly. One company will produce a vaccine which contains four times the antigen of a standard seasonal influenza vaccine.
Mister Hunt said the Commonwealth was doing “everything in our power to protect and save lives next year when the flu season hits”.
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For supply through the National Immunisation Program, vaccines need to be registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee or PBAC based on strain advice from the World Health Organisation. Manufacturers have not yet sought regulatory approval for the sale of these super vaccines in Australia, meaning they were not considered for purchase last year. But this could soon change. With flu vaccines usually rolled out in April, decisions are expected to be made in the coming months.

https://www.newcastle.edu.au/newsroom/featured-news/new-tool-to-tackle-childhood-obesity

A new nutrition tactic, jointly developed by UON researchers, with the aim of significantly reducing the obesity epidemic among young Australians, has the backing of the Australian Government. It is hoped the free menu planning tool for early childhood education and care providers will help to address current statistics that show, one in four children and almost two out of three adults within Australia are considered overweight or obese. According to international research, good eating habits embedded in children at an early age reduces the risks of obesity later in life.

The feedAustralia program, which is currently being trialled in early childhood education and care settings by University of Newcastle, translates world’s best nutritional know-how into an every day, ready-to-use menu planning tool, to support Australia’s twenty five thousand plus providers to meet National Quality Standard compliance among other benefits. Meals given to children in long day care account for up to sixty seven percent of their daily nutritional requirements. According to Professor John Wiggers, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, it is about “giving directors, cooks and food handlers a seamless and fail safe menu planning tool that immediately determines if each dish meets Australian Dietary Guidelines”.
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The feedAustralia early childhood nutrition program has been developed over a four-year partnership with the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Population Health and Healthy Australia to provide early childhood education and care providers with a free program that translates expert nutritional knowledge into everyday ‘best food selection’. The program is currently being trialled in fifty four centres in a study led by the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Population Health, which has been running for the past twelve months and will shine a light on the potential for feedAustralia to be a frontline strategy in addressing childhood obesity. The feedAustralia program has a database of over two hundred recipes and two thousand ingredients with established nutrient profiles and serve recommendations.

The Australian government has committed one point zero eight million dollars to roll-out the feedAustralia program. The program will be made available at no cost to early childhood education and care providers nationally in two thousand eighteen and has been built specifically to integrate with the Federal child care subsidy system for operational efficiency.

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/11/australian-scientists-are-putting-sun-safe-claims-to-the-test/

Lotions, apps, patches, wearables and more – if there’s a product out there that promises to be “sun safe”, a new research centre in Brisbane will be putting it to the test. The centre will be opened by QUT, in partnership with clinical trial company Q-Pharm.T. Doctor Elke Hacker from QUT will run the research centre. Dr Elke says technology was “playing an increasing role in the prevention of sunburn and skin cancer”, pointing to personal UV detectors, sunscreen indicator patches and software apps.
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Despite sun smart campaigns, sunburn rates continue to be high, Dr Hacker says – especially among young people, with a study showing seventy two per cent of Queenslanders aged eighteen to twenty four admit to getting sunburnt. Doctor Hacker says it is “pleasing” that new technology is encouraging people to take responsibility for their actions in avoiding overexposure to UVR – but the value of these devices, apps and products needs to be tested to ensure that they do improve sun protection habits, sun exposure behaviour and reduce sunburn. Personalised wearable stickers will be the first product put through its paces at the new centre.
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Then will come apps that monitor UV exposure, novel therapeutic lotions that promise skin repair and wearable devices. The Centre for Testing New Technology will also work with patient advocacy group Melanoma Patients Australia and Queensland Health’s Preventative Health Branch, to make sure the findings and results translate into community health outcomes.

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