Health Roundup December 19

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International Health News

The United Nations General Assembly has announced that it will hold a high-level meeting in 2018 dedicated solely to the combat and treatment of TB. Health organizations dedicated to fighting TB are thrilled with the news, noting that there hasn‘t been sufficient political commitment to the cause in the past. The disease, which killed 1.8 million people in 2015, is among the world’s top 10 biggest killers, despite the fact the disease is curable.

Country updates

Plans to establish a national health insurance scheme in Zimbabwe has been met with mixed reactions from stakeholders over its effectiveness and relevancy. Currently only 10% of the nation have some form of health cover, while most tend to pay out of pocket for treatment. Concerns about corruption and lack of communication between the government, health officials and the stakeholders themselves have worried people that the scheme, which will largely be financed by taxing the country’s working class population, won’t actually end up benefiting anyone.

Officials in the city of Tianjin, China have had to cancel airline flights and close highways due to large amounts of fog creating visibility problems. Beijing and 22 other cities in China were also forced to impose emergency measures after levels of pollution rose to ten times more than what is classified as ‘safe’. Chinese cities have a reputation for terrible pollution levels, caused by emissions from older cars and coal-fired factories, the particles of which can damage lung tissue and cause serious illnesses.

Health Advice

It’s possible to train the brain to boost self-confidence, according to new research. Scientists have been able to identify brain activity that reveals when a person is feeling more confident and have found that this activity can also be manipulated. By identifying and mapping patterns of behaviour and thought processes, it’s possible to alter your brain activity and boost your self-esteem and general happiness in the process.

About Kat Ashton

Kat Ashton currently resides in Madrid. She is a harsh critic of anything that contains fennel and spends her time reading, writing and dreaming about the intangible world of ideas.