Weekly health roundup March 6

International Health News

A pioneering treatment has reversed a French teenager’s sickle cell disease. By changing the boy’s DNA, scientists were able to ensure that his bone marrow produced healthy red blood cells. Over a year later, the treatment is still working and he is no longer on medication.

It was announced last week that the insurance company International Medical Group has acquired rival firm ALC Health. However, president and CEO of IMG, Todd Hancock, assures that neither clients nor employees will be affected by the acquisition.

According to a recent study by 1Cover, nearly 50% of travellers believe that travel insurance coverage only begins after departure. Very few are aware that they can claim for a cancelled holiday. More information on what is covered by travel insurance can be found here.

Country Updates

A new law will soon come into effect in Qatar to prevent the promotion of breastmilk substitutes. The initiative will focus on the health and wellness of both mothers and babies by encouraging breastfeeding, which is notoriously under-practiced in Qatar due to myths surrounding its effects on the mother’s health.

A crisis meeting has been called by the Australian and Nauruan immigration officials following the outbreak of dengue fever in Nauru. Due to a restriction in medical supplies and infrastructure on the island, officials from the World Health Organisation are assisting the Nauruan government. At least 70 cases of dengue have been reported so far.

A new international health insurance plan has been introduced in Canada aimed towards expats moving into, and out of, the country. The plan will give temporary expats in Canada access to public healthcare, whilst allowing Canadian expats moving abroad to access care from millions of health professionals around the world.

Health Advice

Buying medication online carries significant risks, according to a report by the Care Quality Commission. Investigations into 11 online drug dispensers in England, including Treated.com and MD Direct, found that people are able to self-diagnose and order medication without any real medical checks being made.

According to a recent paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology, there is a link between positive thinking and healthy living. The research revealed that optimists are less likely to die from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lung conditions, among other conditions, than their pessimistic counterparts.