Weekly Health Roundup April 3

International health news

Immunisation rates have fallen in European countries such as Italy and Romania, causing a measles outbreak. As the disease is highly contagious, the World Health Organisation is urging the countries affected to take the necessary measures to vaccinate its citizens.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention has denied rumours that vitamin B17 could be used as a cancer treatment, declaring they are misleading. Dr Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Under-Secretary for the Public Health Policy and Licensing at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, stressed that such rumours lack scientific facts proven by cancer associations or global health authorities.

Country updates

Officials say that a meningitis outbreak in Nigeria has killed over 140 people. Reported for the past week in six states, it has infected so far more than 1,000 people, according to the Abuja Centre for Disease Control. Meningitis causes an acute inflammation of the outer layers of the brain and spinal cord. The worst outbreak in Nigeria in 2009 killed at least 156 people.

In an attempt to rescue its failing finances, the UK’s NHS wants to stop providing prescriptions for travel vaccinations, gluten-free foods and several drugs that can be bought over the counter. Some of those drugs include cough medicine, medication for upset stomachs, and omega-3 oils.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, together with the Information and Communications Ministry, has officially launched its National eHealth Coordination Hub. The Hub is located at the Shangri-La Hotel in Aberdeen, Freetown. It is being established specifically to help coordinate and regulate many digital health initiatives that are currently deployed in Sierra Leone.

Health advice

Recent research has shown promising therapeutic benefits that come with playing Tetris. The different shapes, colours and movements of this game have been proven to be helpful for people suffering from PTSD, cravings or lazy eyes.