The Health News – 16 July 2015

Overview:

• UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the world is headed for a “generation free of AIDS”, after UNAIDS reported a 35 per cent drop in new HIV infections from 15 years ago.

• An independent investigator is preparing to report on concerns raised by nurses at the Far West Local Health District, in a separate inquiry to the one launched this month. Last week the chair of the LHD’s board confirmed that concerns raised by long-serving doctor Steve Flecknoe-Brown would be examined by an independent party.

• The number of Australian children being hospitalised with potentially fatal food allergies is increasing, new research has found. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute’s (MCRI) Professor Mimi Tang said the highest rates of hospital admissions were in younger children, but there was a 110 per cent increase in rates in older children (aged 5 – 14).

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 16th July 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-14/world-on-way-to-generation-free-of-aids-un-chief-says/6620230

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the world is headed for a “generation free of AIDS”, after UNAIDS reported a 35 per cent drop in new HIV infections from 15 years ago.

The positive news was also coupled with calls for more funding, with the objective of eliminating the virus by 2030.
However, the UN warned that continuing stigmatisation of sex workers, drug users and homosexuals were barriers to progress.

“The world has delivered. We have achieved and exceeded the goals regarding AIDS. We have 15 million people on HIV treatment,” Mr Ban said in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where he is attending a global development summit.

“We are on the way to a generation free of AIDS,” Mr Ban said.

According to the UNAIDS report released on Tuesday in Geneva, there have been remarkable strides since the advent in 1996 of anti-retroviral drugs, which suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Though not a cure, the therapy creates a virtuous circle. The less the virus is in circulation, the less likely it is that people become infected.

Although new HIV infections declined to 2 million in 2014 against 3.1 million 14 years ago and the number of new infections has noticeably decreased or remained stagnant, UNAIDS warned spending had plateaued.
There are currently 36.9 million people living with HIV around the world. Around March this year, 15 million of them were accessing anti-retroviral therapy.

2015 is the deadline year for the Millennium Development Goals, which in September 2000 rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle poverty and hunger, prevent deadly but treatable diseases and expand educational opportunities to all children.
In September, world leaders will gather at the United Nations in New York to adopt a new agenda for sustainable development in which health is one of the top priorities.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-15/nurses-felt-27unsupported-on-the-frontline27-at-broken-hill-h/6620528

An independent investigator is preparing to report on concerns raised by nurses at the Far West Local Health District, in a separate inquiry to the one launched this month.

Last week the chair of the LHD’s board confirmed that concerns raised by long-serving doctor Steve Flecknoe-Brown would be examined by an independent party.

Dr Flecknoe-Brown said that a poor culture at the LHD was impacting staff and quality of care and tendered his resignation.

It’s now emerged that another independent consultant was already investigating concerns raised by the local Nurses Association branch after a meeting of nurses in November.

The letter touched on a range of concerns around rostering, staffing and recruitment issues as well as the approach to disciplinary procedures and the conduct of management generally.

In response the LHD engaged an independent consultant to discuss issues with nursing and midwifery staff.
Interviews were conducted in late June but a spokesman for the LHD could not say when the report might be finalised.

The Health District was contacted for comment but a spokesman declined.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-15/number-of-children-hospitalised-with-food-allergies-on-the-rise/6619752

The number of Australian children being hospitalised with potentially fatal food allergies is increasing, new research has found.

A study of hospital admissions from 2005 to 2013 found a 50 per cent jump in children with anaphylaxis, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute’s (MCRI) Professor Mimi Tang said the highest rates of hospital admissions were in younger children, but there was a 110 per cent increase in rates in older children (aged 5 – 14).

Researchers said they were not sure if the cases are newly diagnosed children with food allergies, or whether children were just suffering more serious attacks, meaning they ended up in hospital.

The so-called hygiene hypothesis could be a factor.
Dr James Li from the Mayo Clinic in the US said the hygiene hypothesis proposes that childhood exposure to germs and certain infections helped the immune system develop.

Experts said this new research showed that childhood food allergies were continuing to increase and the burden was now shifting to teenagers and older children.

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