Health News

The Global HOPE Revolutionizing Cancer Treatments For Children In Africa

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Cancer is a major public health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa where sadly, the majority of children who are fighting cancer die. The mortality rate here is estimated to be as high as 90 percent.

The LISTEN Campaign Tackles America’s Drug Addiction Crisis

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Where you aware that one in seven Americans will experience a problem with alcohol or other drug misuse in their lifetimes? Or that 78 people die daily from an overdose and that only 10% of those with addictions ever receive any sort of help towards recovery?

Environmental Experts Say New EPA Head Can't Stop Clean Energy Revolution

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — The World Resources Institute (WRI) has held a press call to discuss the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as the EPA Administrator for the Trump administration. Pruitt’s nomination has been quite controversial given that in his previous job as Oklahoma’s state attorney general he had sued the EPA on numerous occasions, particularly over regulations dealing with the electric power industry. Pruitt has been a leading opponent of Obama’s Clean Power Plan which gave the EPA the authority to regulate CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act.

On hand for the call were several authorities in the area of environmental and energy policy, including:

  • Sue Tierney, Managing Principal, Analysis Group, and former Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy (and a WRI Board Director)
  • Ralph Becker, former Mayor of Salt Lake City
  • Anne L. Kelly, Senior Program Director, Policy and BICEP Program at CERES
  • Sam Adams, WRI US Director and former mayor of Portland, OR
  • Martha Roberts, EDF, Attorney, U.S. Climate Legal and Regulatory Program

Adams opened by saying that “scrutiny is warranted, considering the responsibility that EPA bears in ensuring public and environmental health of our nation.” Thoughtful analysis is also called for, he said, considering the urgency of issues like climate change.

Recounting some testimony from Pruitt’s confirmation hearing, which, somewhat ironically, fell on the same day that NASA announced that 2016 was the hottest year on record, for the third consecutive year, Pruitt did say that he acknowledged that climate change is real (moderating his prior position) and that there is a human aspect to it. However, he questioned the scientific consensus as to the severity of the problem and the need for action. In his testimony, he conveyed no sense of urgency about the issue. Pruitt, according to Adams, also overstated the significance of the Supreme Court’s temporary suspension of the clean power rule on procedural grounds, and played down his ties with the fossil fuel industry

Pruitt has said, on the record, in reference to his repeated use of his role as the state’s chief enforcement officer to file lawsuits on behalf of companies that have supported his political career, to challenge regulations put in place to protect the health and safety of the people he was sworn to protect, "That's actually called representative government, in my view of the world....” Others might call it political patronage. In one case, it was discovered that Pruitt had copied a  letter from an oil and gas company, nearly verbatim, onto his stationary as Attorney General, before submitting it to the EPA.

Mr. Pruitt also refused to commit to recusing himself as EPA administrator, when confronted with lawsuits against the EPA that he personally filed when Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Martha Roberts shared EDF’s view of Scott Pruitt. Describing him as someone who “has spent his entire professional life attempting to dismantle environmental protections, working hand-in-glove with some of our nation’s biggest polluters, who have bankrolled his political career, that nominee becomes an unacceptable risk to the American people.”

Pruitt is the first EPA nominee that EDF has opposed in its 50-year history. Roberts went on to quote Christine Todd Whitman, EPA administrator under George W. Bush, who said of Pruitt’s record, “I don’t recall ever having seen an appointment of someone who is so disdainful of the agency and the science behind what the agency does.”

Vietnam’s Rising Consumer Society

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Vietnam’s middle class is growing faster than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. These consumers want the same things as everyone else. Yet what makes Vietnam distinctive is how quickly its consumers are moving up the ladder. That’s why it’s an attractive market for retailers and consumer goods companies, with its fast growing and sustainable economy.

Study Describes Additional Economic Benefits of Clean Power Plan

(3BlLMedia/Justmeans) — In the weeks ahead, a new administration will take the reins of control in government. On their agenda is the dismantling of many of the environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration. One of these, the Clean Power Plan, which was aimed at reducing carbon emissions from electric power plants, has been the target of multiple lawsuits by Scott Pruitt, former Attorney General of Oklahoma, who will soon head the EPA. It seems certain that Pruitt will do what he can to weaken this law, if not eliminate it entirely. The rationale is apparently economic, based on the idea that regulation costs businesses money rather than simply stimulating them to be more innovative.

Protecting public welfare has been the charter and mission of the EPA since its inception in 1973 under the Nixon administration. Research recently conducted jointly at Drexel, Syracuse, Boston and Harvard Universities, has shown a surprising number of the favorable impacts of the Clean Power Plan, beyond protecting the public.

Specifically, the study looked at the impact of the Plan on crops and trees. While the EPA acknowledged a positive impact on crops and trees when first assessing the impact of the Plan, it made no attempt to quantify it.

Fossil fuel plants emit a number of dangerous emissions. These include carbon, nitrogen and sulfur which combine to produce ground-level ozone. Ozone is a well-known inhibitor of plant growth. In modeling these reductions, the researchers found that they “would provide a significant boost to the productivity of key indicator crops, such as corn, cotton, soybean and potato; as well as several tree species.”

Therefore, controlling these emissions would result in higher yields of these crops and a better economic outcome.

Says, Shannon Capps, PhD, an assistant professor in Drexel's College of Engineering, one of the study’s authors, “With policies similar to those in the Clean Power Plan, we're projecting more than a 15 percent reduction in corn productivity losses due to ozone exposure, compared to business as usual, and about half of that for cotton and soybeans. Depending on market value fluctuations of these crops over the next few years, that could mean gains of tens of millions of dollars for farmers--especially in areas like the Ohio River Valley where power plants currently contribute to ground-level ozone."

Study Shows that Sustainable Development Goals Will Reduce Population Growth

Everyone knows that the UN’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals were intended to literally make the world a better case. But a recent analysis shows how they might accomplish that in ways that may not have been expected. Based on an analysis by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) at Shanghai University, achievement of these goals could result in a significant decrease in population growth.

While none of the 17 goals explicitly seek to reduce population growth, a number of them contribute to that result. The goals are aimed at fighting poverty, reducing inequality, hunger and sickness, as well as addressing climate change, while leaving nobody behind. They include enablers such as quality primary and secondary education for all children, improved sanitation, and reduced child mortality. While it may not be intuitively obvious that these actions would reduce population growth, according to this study, they will.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this finding in the context of challenges currently threatening our continued survival on this planet. According to IIASA World Population Program Director Wolfgang Lutz, "The future of world population growth matters for our efforts to improve the human lot and our impacts on the natural environment. The sizable effect on global population growth provides an additional rationale for vigorously pursuing the implementation of the SDGs."

GSK And The UN Pledge To Fight The Biggest Threat To Humanity 

(3BL Media/Justmeans) –  All 193 United Nations (UN) member states have signed a landmark agreement pledging to fight the threat of antimicrobial resistance – the fourth time a UN declaration has been reached on a health issue, following HIV in 2001, chronic illnesses in 2011 and Ebola in 2013.

Tackling Diabetes: CVS Health Partners with YMCA

(3BL Media/Justmeans) –  Diabetes is top of the news agenda this month. Public Health England is warning that tackling diabetes will be ‘fundamental’ to the future of NHS, as the number of adults with the condition grows. About 3.8 million adults in England now have diabetes, with at least 940,000 of those undiagnosed, new figures reveal.

New York Fashion Week Features Acid Attack Survivor From India

(3BL Media/Justmeans) –  Reshma Bano Qureshi is a 19-year-old woman from Mumbai who survived an acid attack two years ago. Since then, she has teamed up with the organization Make Love Not Scars to create ‘the red lipstick video tutorial,’ which does not teach how to apply makeup, but instead raises awareness about the dangers of acid violence.

Curbing HIV Infection Among Girls And Young Women In Africa

(3BL Media/Just Means) - “Make PrEP famous!”. This is the last line in this FSG report on the 2016 Aids Conference, which took place in Durban, South Africa between 18 and 22 July.

I couldn’t agree more.

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