Healthcare & Lifescience Talking Points | 12/09/2017

In today’s talking points: China extends maternity leave for female employees; A new test developed in Australia allows easy detection of a disease causing sudden blindness; Mushrooms used to purify water resulting in greener technology; China and Myanmar work towards reducing Malaria along border.

China extends maternity leave for female employees

In recent years, labour protection regulations for women employees have been made more comprehensive in China. Women can now take up to 128 days of maternity leave, while in some provinces this can extend to up to 355 days. These recent changes have ignited the discussion on what is the ideal length of time for maternity leave. On one hand, women would like longer maternity leave, but on the other hand this can be detrimental towards their career. As the author Liu Minghui puts it, some enterprises are less likely to hire a female employee who has yet to have children for fear of the cost of granting them maternity leave when they do have a child. A solution to this would involve employers allowing women’s schedules to be flexible and local authorities working with the community to build childcare centres.

Read more at: China Daily

A new test developed in Australia allows easy detection of a disease causing sudden blindness

A test developed at the Centre of Eye Research Australia has allowed people to detect if they are at risk of developing angle closure glaucoma. This test, which involves simply taking a flash photo of the eye from the side with a smart phone and looking at how forward or backward the eye looks, is considered an extremely valuable break through particularly in helping diagnose the disease in South East Asia where it is more common. The eye contains a fluid filled space between the iris and cornea. The disease is caused by an inherited narrowness in this space that drains fluid from the eye.

Read more at: Xinhua

Mushrooms used to purify water resulting in greener technology

A professor from Nanjing University and his team have discovered the use of mushrooms in purifying polluted water. The discovery came through a discussion with his team when one member noted that the artificial transpiration device they used to purify water in fact resembled a mushroom. The mushroom, with its umbrella like shape, porous caps and fibrous stem create a perfect way for wastewater to be absorbed through and then evaporated by the sun, all while leaving pollutants behind on the cap. Test results revealed that mushrooms have a solar steam conversion efficiency rate of 60-70 percent while the artificial device has a conversion efficiency rate of 85 percent.

Read more at: China Daily

China and Myanmar work towards reducing Malaria along border

China and Myanmar are working together to eliminate Malaria cases along the border of the two countries. Numbers have shown that they have been successful to an extent as the malaria fatality rate reduced to 100 000 in 2016 from 400 000 people affected from the 5 years previously. A meeting was recently held on the 6th of September between parties involved in the issue. These included the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar and the Yunnan Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more at: China Daily