#US #sanctions in #Venezuela: #help, hindrance, or #violation of #humanrights? (Lancet, summary)

[Source: The Lancet, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

US sanctions in Venezuela: help, hindrance, or violation of human rights?

Tanya L Zakrison, Carles Muntaner

Published: June 13, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31397-2

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We read with interest the Review about Venezuela’s public health crisis1 and could not agree more emphatically with the authors. However, the root causes of this economic crisis, specifically, the impact of the US economic sanctions, deserve further inquiry. Since 2014, 43 unilateral, coercive measures have been applied against Venezuela by the US Administration. These have effectively paralysed the economy, blocked oil exportation globally, and frozen Venezuelan financial assets abroad while denying access to international financial systems. This loss in oil revenue and assets has amounted to a shortfall worth billions of US dollars, prohibiting the importation of essential, lifesaving products.

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We declare no competing interests.

Keywords: Public Health; Venezuela; USA; Wars; Politics; Society; Poverty.

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On #lifestyle trends, #health and #mosquitoes: Formulating welfare levels for control of the Asian tiger mosquito in #Greece (PLoS Negl Trop Dis., abstract)

[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

OPEN ACCESS /  PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE

On lifestyle trends, health and mosquitoes: Formulating welfare levels for control of the Asian tiger mosquito in Greece

Antonios Kolimenakis , Kostas Bithas, Dionysis Latinopoulos, Clive Richardson

Published: June 4, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007467 / This is an uncorrected proof.

 

Abstract

The expansion of urban ecosystems and climate change, both outcomes of massive lifestyle changes, contribute to a series of side effects such as environmental deterioration, spread of diseases, increased greenhouse gas emissions and introduction of invasive species. In the case of the Athens metropolitan area, an invasive mosquito species—the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)–has spread widely in the last decade. This spread is favoured within urban environments and is also affected by changing climatic trends. The Asian tiger mosquito is accompanied by risks of mosquito-borne diseases, greater nuisance levels, and increased expenses incurring for its confrontation. The main aims of this paper are (i) to estimate the various costs associated with their control of this invasive species, as well as its health and nuisance impacts, (ii) to evaluate the level of citizens’ well-being from averting these impacts and (iii) to record citizens’ and experts’ perceptions regarding alternative control measures. Evidence shows that experts tend to place a high value on mosquito control when associated with serious health risks, while citizens are more sensitive and concerned about the environmental impacts of control methods. The synthesis of results produced by the current study could act as a preliminary guide for the estimation of societal welfare from the confrontation of similar problems in the context of a complex ecosystem.

 

Author summary

This paper is based on several years’ collaboration among researchers from various disciplines, key health policy makers and stakeholders in an attempt to evaluate the economic dimensions related to the presence of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the challenges of tackling mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in Greece and Southern Europe. Similar studies have been conducted and continue to be published in Europe and the USA examining the socioeconomic benefit from the implementation of relevant control and prevention strategies. These studies conclude that there are significant benefits related both to the reduction of nuisance levels and the reduction of the health risks posed by various mosquito species. In our case, the application of an updated economic analysis on the effectiveness of relevant public control and prevention programs provides essential information for public health decision-making, bearing in mind the significant restructuring of the public sector and the fiscal crisis apparent in the European South.

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Citation: Kolimenakis A, Bithas K, Latinopoulos D, Richardson C (2019) On lifestyle trends, health and mosquitoes: Formulating welfare levels for control of the Asian tiger mosquito in Greece. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13(6): e0007467. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007467

Editor: Olaf Horstick, University of Heidelberg, GERMANY

Received: October 2, 2018; Accepted: May 14, 2019; Published: June 4, 2019

Copyright: © 2019 Kolimenakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: Part of this research has been co-financed by the European Union (EU Environmental Funding Programme LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance) and Greek national funds through the LIFE CONOPS project “Development & demonstration of management plans against—the climate change enhanced—invasive mosquitoes in S. Europe” (LIFE12ENV/GR/000466). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Climate change; Mosquitoes; Aedes albopictus; Society; Poverty; Greece.

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The Ongoing #Ebola #Epidemic in the #DRC, 2018–2019 (N Engl J Med., abstract)

[Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

The Ongoing Ebola Epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2018–2019

Oly Ilunga Kalenga, M.D., Ph.D., Matshidiso Moeti, M.D., Annie Sparrow, M.B., B.S., M.D., M.P.H., Vinh-Kim Nguyen, M.D., Ph.D., Daniel Lucey, M.D., M.P.H., and Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, Ph.D.

 

Abstract

The international response to the evolving Ebola epidemic in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has had interim successes while facing ongoing difficulties. The outbreak has occurred in an area of intractable conflict among multiple armed groups at a time of contentious national elections. Despite porous international borders and considerable population movement, however, transmission has been confined to North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Factors potentially contributing to this containment include conduct of about 55 million screenings, surveillance of contacts (12,591 under surveillance currently), testing of 280 samples per day, provision of safe and dignified burials for most deaths, vaccination of high-risk people (112,485 vaccinated as of May 7, 2019), and medical treatment including four investigational therapies. Major challenges remain. Since late February 2019, a sharp rise in cases and increased transmission have been observed. These coincide with organized attacks by armed groups targeting response teams, deteriorating security, and the population’s increasing distrust of the response effort. The risk of local and regional spread remains high given the high proportion of deaths occurring outside treatment facilities, relatively low proportions of new patients who were known contacts, ongoing nosocomial transmission, and persistent delays in detection and reporting. Stopping this epidemic will require the alignment of the principal political and armed groups in eastern DRC in support of the response.

Keywords: Ebola; DRC; Society; Poverty; War.

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African #elephant #poaching rates correlate with local #poverty, national #corruption and global #ivory #price (Nat Commun., abstract)

[Source: Nature Communications, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article | OPEN | Published: 28 May 2019

African elephant poaching rates correlate with local poverty, national corruption and global ivory price

Severin Hauenstein, Mrigesh Kshatriya, Julian Blanc, Carsten F. Dormann & Colin M. Beale

Nature Communications 10, Article number: 2242 (2019)

 

Abstract

Poaching is contributing to rapid declines in elephant populations across Africa. Following high-profile changes in the political environment, the overall number of illegally killed elephants in Africa seems to be falling, but to evaluate potential conservation interventions we must understand the processes driving poaching rates at local and global scales. Here we show that annual poaching rates in 53 sites strongly correlate with proxies of ivory demand in the main Chinese markets, whereas between-country and between-site variation is strongly associated with indicators of corruption and poverty. Our analysis reveals a recent decline in annual poaching mortality rate from an estimated peak of over 10% in 2011 to <4% in 2017. Based on these findings, we suggest that continued investment in law enforcement could further reduce poaching, but is unlikely to succeed without action that simultaneously reduces ivory demand and tackles corruption and poverty.

Keywords: Wildlife; Poverty; Society; Africa.

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Use of #mosquito #repellents to protect against #Zika virus infection among #pregnant women in #Brazil (Public Health, abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Public Health. 2019 May 17;171:89-96. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2019.04.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of mosquito repellents to protect against Zika virus infection among pregnant women in Brazil.

Dantas Melo VA1, Santos Silva JR2, La Corte R3.

Author information: 1 Graduate Program in Parasitic Biology, Federal University of Sergipe, Avenue Marechal Rondon S/n. Jardim Rosa Elze, University City Professor José Aloísio de Campos São Cristovão, Brazil. 2 Graduate Program in Parasitic Biology, Federal University of Sergipe, Avenue Marechal Rondon S/n. Jardim Rosa Elze, University City Professor José Aloísio de Campos São Cristovão, Brazil; Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, Federal University of Sergipe, Avenue Marechal Rondon S/n. Jardim Rosa Elze, University City Professor José Aloísio de Campos São Cristovão, Brazil. 3 Graduate Program in Parasitic Biology, Federal University of Sergipe, Avenue Marechal Rondon S/n. Jardim Rosa Elze, University City Professor José Aloísio de Campos São Cristovão, Brazil; Department of Morphology, Federal University of Sergipe, Avenue Marechal Rondon S/n. Jardim Rosa Elze, University City Professor José Aloísio de Campos São Cristovão, Brazil. Electronic address: rlacorte@ufs.br.

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the use of repellents among pregnant women as a protective measure against infection with the Zika virus.

STUDY DESIGN:

Pregnant women (n = 177) were interviewed between November 2016 and February 2017 at Basic Health Units in the city of Propriá, state of Sergipe, Brazil. Two units were located in rural areas and eight in urban regions.

METHODS:

Data were analysed using descriptive statistical methods, the Chi-squared test or Fisher’s exact test and odds ratios. The independent variables were grouped by analysis of the main components, and adherence to the use of the repellent was analysed by the logistic regression method.

RESULTS:

A total of 100 women reported using repellents at the time of the interview (56%). The use of repellents was greater among women with higher levels of education (83%) than those with only high school (68%) or elementary school (36%) education. Women assisted by the income transfer programme (Bolsa Família) presented a 2.27 times greater chance of not using repellents compared with pregnant women who were not receiving benefits of the programme. Regarding the logistic regression model, we observed that low economic and social conditions of pregnant women, as well as their lack of advice, had a negative effect on the use of repellents.

CONCLUSIONS:

Repellents were generally used as a preventive measure in pregnant women with higher levels of schooling and fewer children. The relatively high cost of repellents was the main reason for non-use.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

KEYWORDS: Aedes aegypti; Pregnant women; Repellents; Vector control; Zika virus

PMID: 31112836 DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2019.04.002

Keywords: Zika Virus; Pregnancy; Society; Poverty; Mosquitoes repellents.

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#Water and #Sanitation #Deficits Take a Toll in Armed #Conflict Regions (JAMA, summary)

[Source: Journal of American Medical Association, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

Global Health / May 21, 2019

Water and Sanitation Deficits Take a Toll in Armed Conflict Regions

M.J. Friedrich

JAMA. 2019;321(19):1861. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6186

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Diarrheal diseases resulting from scarce clean water and sanitation in countries with protracted armed conflicts take more children’s lives than the violence itself, according to a recent United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report.

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Keywords: Society; Poverty; Public Health; Wars.

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What explains cross-city #variation in #mortality during the 1918 #influenza #pandemic? Evidence from 438 #US cities (Econ Hum Biol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Econ Hum Biol. 2019 Apr 29;35:42-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.03.010. [Epub ahead of print]

What explains cross-city variation in mortality during the 1918 influenza pandemic? Evidence from 438 U.S. cities.

Clay K1, Lewis J2, Severnini E3.

Author information: 1 Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, 4800 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, United States. 2 Department of Economics, University of Montreal, C.P. 6128 succ. Centre-ville, Montreal, QC, H3C 3J7, United States. 3 Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, 4800 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, United States. Electronic address: edsons@andrew.cmu.edu.

 

Abstract

Disparities in cross-city pandemic severity during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic remain poorly understood. This paper uses newly assembled historical data on annual mortality across 438 U.S. cities to explore the determinants of pandemic mortality. We assess the role of three broad factors: i) pre-pandemic population health and poverty, ii) air pollution, and iii) the timing of onset and proximity to military bases. Using regression analysis, we find that cities in the top tercile of the distribution of pre-pandemic infant mortality had 21 excess deaths per 10,000 residents in 1918 relative to cities in the bottom tercile. Similarly, cities in the top tercile of the distribution of proportion of illiterate residents had 21.3 excess deaths per 10,000 residents during the pandemic relative to cities in the bottom tercile. Cities in the top tercile of the distribution of coal-fired electricity generating capacity, an important source of urban air pollution, had 9.1 excess deaths per 10,000 residents in 1918 relative to cities in the bottom tercile. There was no statistically significant relationship between excess mortality and city proximity to World War I bases or the timing of onset. In a counterfactual analysis, the three statistically significant factors accounted for 50 percent of cross-city variation in excess mortality in 1918.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Air pollution; Influenza; Mortality; Pandemic

PMID: 31071595 DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.03.010

Keywords: Pandemic Influenza; Spanish Flu; USA; Society; Poverty; Environmental pollution.

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