Category Archives: healthcare

Medicare Doesn’t Equal Dental Care. That Can Be a Big Problem. – The New York Times

Almost one in five adults of Medicare eligibility age (65 years old and older) have untreated cavities. The same proportion have lost all their teeth. Half of Medicare beneficiaries have some periodontal disease, or infection of structures around teeth, including the gums.

Bacteria from such infections can circulate elsewhere in the body, contributing to other health problems such as heart disease and strokes.

How Insulin Became Unaffordable | Harvard Political Review

Organizations like the Type 1 Diabetes Defense Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are fighting to share rebates directly with patients, cutting out a cash cow for the industry. If the rebates are eliminated, US insulin prices begin to look more like those in Canada. But until something changes, Americans like Alec Raeshawn Smith will lose their lives because they can’t afford a 100-year-old drug.

Source: How Insulin Became Unaffordable | Harvard Political Review

The Best Jimikki Kammal Videos Yet Show Kerala Muslim Women Dancing with Blazing Political Purpose

Over the weekend, women in Kerala decided to express their political support for the Malappuram girls through the best medium: Jimikki Kammal dance videos.

Source: The Best Jimikki Kammal Videos Yet Show Kerala Muslim Women Dancing with Blazing Political Purpose

“The videos will exist for posterity. Maybe someday, some child in the future will ask her grandmother why these women were dancing so seriously to such a silly song. Where was there a cheering crowd of protesters around them? And she will tell her the story all over again, of how women came together to dance in support of other woman, and the child will smile, and be inspired by – and, possibly, a little alarmed at – the passion of her ancestors. And that will be enough.”

WHO | Plague – Madagascar

While the declining trend in new plague case reports and reduction in hospitalizations due to plague is encouraging, WHO expects more cases of plague to be reported from Madagascar until the typical plague season ends in April 2018. Sustaining ongoing operations, including active case finding and treatment, comprehensive contact identification, follow-up and antibiotic treatment, rodent and flea control, and safe and dignified burials is crucial during the outbreak and through the plague season as it is critical to minimize bubonic plague infections and human-to-human transmission of pneumonic plague.Based on available information and response measures implemented to date, WHO estimates the risk of potential further spread of the plague outbreak at national level remains high.

Source: WHO | Plague – Madagascar

Avian Flu Diary: WHO SitRep #7: Plague In Madagascar

Current risk assessmentThe risk assessment is in the process of being reviewed based on the evolving situation. While the current outbreak began with one large epidemiologically linked cluster, cases of pneumonic plague without apparent epidemiologic links have since been detected in regions across Madagascar, including the densely populated cities of Antananarivo in the central highlands and Toamasina on the east coast of Madagascar. Due to the increased risk of further spread and the severe nature of the disease, the overall risk at the national level is considered very high.

Source: Avian Flu Diary: WHO SitRep #7: Plague In Madagascar

How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic | Vital Signs | The Guardian – “Bingo! What I have been saying for past 5 years.”

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa may have surprised most of the medical establishment – this is the first such outbreak in the region – but the risk had been steadily rising for at least a decade. The risk had grown so high, in fact, that this outbreak was almost inevitable and very possibly predictable.All that was needed was to see the danger was a bat’s eye view of the region. Once blanketed with forests, West Africa has been skinned alive over the last decade. Guinea’s rainforests have been reduced by 80%, while Liberia has sold logging rights to over half its forests. Within the next few years Sierra Leone is on track to be completely deforested.This matters because those forests were habitat for fruit bats, Ebola’s reservoir host. With their homes cut down around them, the bats are concentrating into the remnants of their once-abundant habitat. At the same time, mining has become big business in the region, employing thousands of workers who regularly travel into bat territory to get to the mines.

Source: How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic | Vital Signs | The Guardian

Nivea’s latest ‘white is right’ advert is the tip of a reprehensible iceberg | Media | The Guardian

Shadism, pigmentocracy – the idea of privilege accruing to lighter-skinned black people – and other hierarchies of beauty are a complex picture in which ads such as Nivea’s are only the obvious tip of an insidious iceberg. Celebrities with darker complexions, such as the Sudanese model Nyakim Gatwech – nicknamed Queen of the Dark – and actors such as Lupita Nyong’o, are so often discussed in the context of having achieved the seemingly impossible by being both dark and beautiful, that they become the exceptions that prove the rule.It is often observed that light-skinned black women are more likely to become global superstars, the Beyoncé-Rihanna effect. They are, however, still black women and therefore not immune from the pressure to lighten – most recently by fans following a new Photoshopping trend of posting pictures of whitened versions of their faces and remarking upon the improvement.In countries such as Ghana, the intended audience for the Nivea ad, and Nigeria – where an estimated 77% of women use skin-lightening products – the debate has so far, understandably, focused on health. The most toxic skin-lightening ingredients, still freely available, include ingredients such as hydroquinone, mercury and corticosteroid. It’s not unusual for these to be mixed with caustic agents ranging from automotive battery acid, washing power, toothpaste and cloth bleaching agents, with serious and irreversible health consequences. There is no suggestion that global brands such as Nivea or Lancôme are using any of these illegal and harmful ingredients, and African countries are moving towards greater regulation of the products themselves. Ghana, for example, has banned hydroquinone.These powerful corporations are, however, still freely operating in a context where millions of low-income women experience the high-end messaging of their glossy billboards, but can only afford to opt for cheaper, black market products. Advertising standards have been enforced against beauty conglomerates for adverts that are overly retouched, but only India, another of the biggest markets for skin lightening products, has banned adverts depicting people with darker skin as inferior. Maybe it is time that changed. This is an industry expected to reach $31bn by 2024, as growing awareness of dangerous, toxic products drives extra demand for a “fairness solution with natural, herbal and organic ingredients”, according to market analysts.

Source: Nivea’s latest ‘white is right’ advert is the tip of a reprehensible iceberg | Media | The Guardian