The News – 8 September 2014

Overview

  • The story of Hamid Kehazaei – who is brain dead in Brisbane’s Mater Hospital after a cut to the foot at Manus Island detention centre was left untreated – was both utterly avoidable and utterly inevitable.
  • At last, the coffee genome has been sequenced, shedding light on genes responsible for the kick, flavour and aroma of the ever-popular beverage.
  • Cancer Council Victoria, in partnership with the Heart Foundation, with funding from the Victorian State Government will be delivering the mass media LiveLighter campaign which will air on TV across the state from tonight.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th September 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-05/rau-detention-healthcare-tossed-overboard/5722036

The plight of an asylum seeker who died from preventable septicaemia is so moving because it is so blithely routine in a surreal system, writes Chris Rau.

The story of Hamid Kehazaei – who is brain dead in Brisbane’s Mater Hospital after a cut to the foot at Manus Island detention centre was left untreated – was both utterly avoidable and utterly inevitable.

The 24-year-old Iranian asylum seeker is the most recent, tragic face of the “collateral damage” in a bipartisan policy which has culminated this past year in fatal riots, medical malfeasance, at least two dead babies, alleged rapes in detention centres, and skyrocketing mental health conditions.

Successive governments have repeatedly cried crocodile tears about people-smuggler-driven deaths at sea while cynically denying asylum seekers who do make it into their care the very basics of human existence which governments can control. All in the name of deterrence.

These responsibilities include a duty of care to those under their jurisdiction, particularly those locked in remote, inhospitable state-sanctioned “facilities” – semantic quibbles about “detention centres” vs “prisons” aside.

Their rights include freedom from hunger, assault, solitary confinement; a basic standard of accommodation and health care; access to reading, writing, and drawing material at the very least; sanitation, clean air and water; and an independent complaints mechanism.

Mr Kehazaei’s plight is so moving because it was so blithely routine in a surreal system. It becomes even more shocking when you realise that successive immigration ministers have been wilfully deaf to warnings about woeful standards of detention health care.

If Hamid Kehazaei’s case could be brought under standard medical negligence litigation in an Australian court, no medical insurer would even dare try to defend the case in court, given the sheer blatancy of medical neglect. It would be quietly settled for a large sum.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/09/05/4079979.htm

At last, the coffee genome has been sequenced, shedding light on genes responsible for the kick, flavour and aroma of the ever-popular beverage.

Not only will it help in breeding good quality naturally decaffeinated or extra strength coffee, but the sequence shows that caffeine molecule evolved separately in coffee, tea and cacao (cocoa), say researchers.

Their study is reported in today’s issue of the journal Science.

More than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. The plant is grown on more than 11 million hectares, often in developing countries where it is an important cash crop.

“Many people argue it’s the most traded commodity after oil,” says molecular biologist Professor Robert Henry.

Henry is part of an international team of researchers that used advanced sequencing technology to look at the coffee bean genes that control flavour, aroma and caffeine content.

The genome sequence will provide a tool for rapidly locating new genes for breeding coffee that is more resistant to environmental stresses.

http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/news-media/Media-Releases-2014/Pages/graphic-obesity-tv-campaign-launched-victoria.aspx

Victorians will come face-to-face with the health impacts of ‘toxic fat’ as the state’s first ever, hard-hitting campaign about the risks of being overweight or obese was launched …[last month]

Cancer Council Victoria, in partnership with the Heart Foundation, with funding from the Victorian State Government will be delivering the mass media LiveLighter campaign which will air on TV across the state …

The public education campaign, …graphically portrays the damage unhealthy weight, poor diet and physical inactivity can cause to internal organs.

The hard-hitting ‘toxic fat’ advert takes people inside their own bodies, showing the toxic build-up of visceral fat, which can dramatically increase the risk of developing serious health conditions.

The campaign has been designed to inform, encourage change and trigger fresh debate about obesity, chronic disease prevention and healthy lifestyle related issues. It is a critical element of the state government’s prevention system, Healthy Together Victoria.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper, acknowledged the campaign was confronting but said so was the fact that nearly two-thirds of Victorians were overweight or obese.

LiveLighter was funded by the Department of Health in Western Australia and developed by the Heart Foundation WA in partnership with Cancer Council of WA and has been implemented in WA since 2012.

The LiveLighter campaign is supported by a comprehensive, easy-to-use website, providing a wealth of information, resources and tools including an online meal and activity planner featuring healthy recipes that are easy to make.

The ‘toxic fat’ advert will be combined with advertisements about how to make small lifestyle changes to start living lighter. The Victorian campaign will feature on commercial television, newspapers, radio, outdoor, cinema and online across the state. The Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at Cancer Council Victoria will evaluate the campaign. LiveLighter is funded until June 2015.

The Heart Foundation is also responsible for this month’s campaign BIG HEART APPEAL – ….

Over 100,000 big-hearted volunteers are collecting funds for vital heart research this September, please give generously when they knock on your door.

This has been the news on Health Professional Radio. For more information on today’s items head to hpr.fm/news and subscribe to our podcast on itunes.