China approves first homegrown COVID antiviral

The country’s drug regulator has granted conditional authorization for an HIV drug to be used to treat COVID-19.

Yvaine Ye

Nature | July 26, 2022

A temporary hospital for people with COVID-19 in Shanghai. The country has approved the first antiviral for the disease made in China. Credit: Ray Young/Feature China/Future Publishing/Getty

China’s drug regulator granted conditional approval on Monday for an HIV drug to be used to treat COVID-19. The drug, Azvudine, developed by Chinese drugmaker Genuine Biotech, is the first oral antiviral for the disease made in China.

Genuine Biotech, headquartered in Pingdingshan, applied for regulatory approval earlier this month. In an announcement, the company said that 40% of people with COVID-19 who were given Azvudine for a week in a phase III clinical trial showed “improved clinical symptoms”, compared with 11% of those given a placebo. However, detailed data from the trial, including whether the treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization or death, have not been released.

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How different COVID-19 recovery paths affect human health, environmental sustainability, and food affordability: a modelling study

Juliette Maire, PhD; Aimen Sattar, MPhil; Roslyn Henry, PhD; Frances Warren, PhD; Magnus Merkle, MSc; Prof Mark Rounsevell, PhD; and Peter Alexander, PhD

The Lancet | Open Access | Published: July, 2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(22)00144-9

Summary
Background
The COVID-19 pandemic arrived at a time of faltering global poverty reduction and increasing levels of diet-related diseases, both of which have a strong link to poor outcomes for those with COVID-19. Governments responded to the pandemic by placing unprecedented restrictions on internal and external movements, which have resulted in an economic contraction. In response to the economic shock, G20 governments have committed to providing US$14 trillion stimuli to support economic recovery. We aimed to assess the impact of different COVID-19 recovery paths on human health, environmental sustainability, and food sustainability.

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No Cuban child died of COVID-19 after vaccination campaign

Before the vaccination campaign in children started, 18 infants between the ages of two and 18 years old had unfortunately lost their lives to COVID-19. No child died of this terrible disease in Cuba after the vaccination campaign in this population group began.

Leticia Martínez

Granma | July 20, 2022

Photo: Ismael Batista

Before the vaccination campaign in children started, 18 infants between the ages of two and 18 years old had unfortunately lost their lives to COVID-19. No child died of this terrible disease in Cuba after the vaccination campaign in this population group began. This is the most relevant result of the Cuban vaccine Soberana, an immunogen of the Finlay Vaccine Institute.

Precisely, the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine presented the closing of the evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of the pediatric vaccination against COVID-19 in the country during the Tuesday meeting with the President of the Republic.

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Roe vs. Wade: A Time Of Reproductive Unrest

Madelaine Moore

Progress in Political Economy | July 05, 2022

The overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the USA highlights the precariousness of legal institutions and the necessity for continuous struggle to both push for and enforce social rights. It shows the limitations of legal and state apparatuses, that are themselves a reflection of existing power relations and vested interests, but also the ways that previous struggles and class forces are continuously inscribed within such institutions. While this decision clearly signifies a new intensity of attacks on women’s rights in the USA, it may also (hopefully) signify a heightened mobilisation and coordination of left-wing struggles.

This increasingly fractious relation between church, the capitalist state, and capital accumulation regimes, alongside increasing social struggles is not unique to the US. In a recent article in New Political Economy, entitled ‘A time of reproductive unrest: the articulation of capital accumulation, social reproduction, and the Irish state’, I analyse similar dynamics in the Republic of Ireland (herein Ireland) and argue that this is a time of Reproductive Unrest. The concept Reproductive Unrest captures two dynamics, first the way that economic crisis (in this case the repercussions following the financial crisis) were “resolved” by displacing it to the sphere of social reproduction (housing, water, healthcare, reproductive rights) and in particular, working-class communities. And second, the way that economic crisis and the dominant accumulation regime that caused it were contested by these communities on the terrain of social reproduction and increasingly the capitalist state. Economic crisis was displaced to the social and then the political, which left behind an increasingly uneasy and unworkable institutional and political constellation.

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Drug-resistant typhoid ‘spreading out of South Asia’

Sanjeet Bagcchi

SciDevNet | June 29, 2022

[NEW DELHI] Antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella Typhi, the typhoid bacteria, have spread from South Asia to other countries nearly 200 times since 1990, new research suggests.

Every year, an estimated 11 to 20 million people suffer from typhoid and 128,000 to 161,000 victims die from the diseasesays the World Health Organization (WHO). Typhoid spreads through water contaminated by an infected person’s faeces. Its symptoms include prolonged fever, nausea, rashes, headache and diarrhoea or constipation.

S. Typhi can only infect humans, and by studying how closely related bacteria found in different places are, we discovered that typhoid had spread from South Asia, the home of typhoid, to many parts of the world many times,” says Gagandeep Kang, co-author of the study and professor at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory in the Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.

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Adolescent transport and unintentional injuries: a systematic analysis using the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

GBD 2019 Adolescent Transport and Unintentional Injuries Collaborators

The Lancet | Open Access | Published: June 29, 2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00134-7

Summary
Background
Globally, transport and unintentional injuries persist as leading preventable causes of mortality and morbidity for adolescents. We sought to report comprehensive trends in injury-related mortality and morbidity for adolescents aged 10–24 years during the past three decades.

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Cuba: Digitization of medical services: Another revolution in health

A project to digitalize Cuba’s public health system was presented at a meeting between Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz with experts and scientists working on healthcare issues

René Tamayo León

Granma | June 22, 2022

As part of the computerization of society, the first system to undergo a digital transformation must be public health, Díaz-Canel emphasized. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

As “another revolution in health,” Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez described the project, “For digital health,” presented at this week’s meeting with experts and scientists working on healthcare issues.


The Ministry of Public Health project involves “a cultural transformation of health institutions, to produce a positive impact on the quality and safety of services focused on the patient, the family and the community, as a result of the computerization of care, teaching and research processes, through inter-operational integration,” explained Dr. Dalsy Torres Dávila, one of the specialists leading the initiative.

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PURPOSe study: understanding the burden of stillbirths in south Asia

Joao Paulo Souza & Rajiv Bahl

The Lancet | Open Access | Published: July, 2022 | DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00218-2

Stillbirth prevention is a global health priority and a crucial step towards better maternal and newborn health and wellbeing.1 In 2019, 2 million babies were stillborn, with over three-quarters of these stillbirths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.2 However, progress has been slow, and unless there is a substantial acceleration in progress, the Sustainable Development Goal target 3.2 and Every Newborn Action Plan target of 12 stillbirths per 1000 births will not be met by 2030.3 Slow progress is partly due to the limited emphasis on stillbirth reduction in maternal and child health programmes and a paucity of accurate, complete, and actionable information on stillbirths, particularly in high-burden areas.1, 4

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Do hospital facilities influence global cancer surgery outcomes?

Deo Suryanarayana & Prashant Gupta

The Lancet | Open Access | Published: May 24, 2022 | DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00214-5

Cancer is emerging worldwide as a significant public health problem and trends indicate that low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) are going to witness a substantial increase in cancer burden by 2040.1 Surgery plays a vital role in the management of solid tumours, but only 25% of the global population has access to safe, affordable, and timely surgery.2 This disparity is more pronounced in LMICs dealing with high cancer burden and limited resources. Timely access to quality multidisciplinary care is a critical factor determining outcomes. Surgical outcomes are reliant on the experience and skills of the surgeon, and the availability of ancillary support facilities. Cancer surgery outcomes have improved during the past three decades, primarily because of the advancements made in surgery, anaesthesia, surgical technology, perioperative, and critical care domains.3  4 Operative mortality in patients receiving complex cancer surgeries such as Whipple’s resection and oesophagectomy has reduced drastically.5 However, most of these studies originate from tertiary care cancer centres in high-income countries, and there is little literature available related to cancer surgical outcomes from LMICs.

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WTO decides: no TRIPS waiver

Trade delegates and WTO Secretariat celebrate package of documents issued at the end of the Ministerial Conference, yet outlook for Global South remains bleak

Peoples Health Dispatch | June 17, 2022

Activists stage a “die-in” action at the WTO Ministerial Conference to protest the lack of TRIPS waiver (Photo: Our World is Not for Sale

The WTO announced on June 17 that it had reached an agreement on the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver. The deal has been criticized by people’s movements around the world as the WTO decidedly rejected the demand by health activists for a full TRIPS waiver.

The ministerial decision on the TRIPS agreement, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, was announced in the early morning in Geneva on June 17, almost two days after the expected end of the 12th Ministerial Conference. Although the decision was hailed by the WTO Secretariat and officials from the Global North as an unprecedented result, in practice it falls short of meeting the bare minimum of the world’s needs.

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