Health Roundup December 5

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International Health News

A new drug is being trialed which could reduce the pain felt by sufferers of Sickle Cell disease. Results of the trials so far show that the drug, called SelG1, helps to reduce the length of time pain is felt by up to 45%. Sickle cell disease causes sufferers to have abnormally shaped blood red cells, which can stick to the walls of blood vessels and cause severe pain in muscles.

Researchers are one step closer to creating artificial blood that can be stored as a powder and could revolutionize healthcare. The artificial red blood cell that has been created picks up oxygen in the lungs and delivers it to tissues, and can be freeze-dried meaning medics can carry it with them for long periods of time, and only need to mix the powder with sterile water for it to be ready to inject.

Country updates

The UK government has confirmed that it will aim to provide access to clean water for 60 million more people between 2016 and 2020. The government’s Department for International Development has also promised to lead the world to take action on preventing child and maternal deaths, and increasing access to education and healthcare in developing countries. A recent survey by the World Health Organization revealed that 38% of healthcare facilities are low in low/middle-income countries and 42% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to clean water.   

Health Advice

A new paper released by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics outlines the benefits of vegetarian diets, claiming that they reduce the risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It claims that adopting such diets in childhood may help reduce the risk of chronic illness in later life and also notes how plant-based diets are more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

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.