Healthcare & Lifescience Talking Points | 13/10/2017

In today’s talking points: China’s speeds up research into organ donation; The way a person walks may indicate health problems; Obesity at a new high according to the World Health Organisation; High demand for Auslan classes in preparation for Australian Deaf Games

China speeds up research into organ donation

In 2015, the law was changed in China to ban the use of organs from executed prisoners, with voluntary donation becoming the only source for organ donations. Despite there still being a negative perception around organ donation, especially from the elderly who believe the body should be buried whole, organ donations have slowly risen. In 2010 only 34 people donated their organs while in 2016 the number rose to 4080. Liu Yuan, a liver transplant surgeon, along with 21 other medical professionals will be training postgraduate students in organ donation, handling and transplants from November of 2017. He believes that a lack of training has kept China behind the western world on this issue.

Read more at: China Daily

The way a person walks may indicate health problems

A change in a person’s gait or way they walk can not only indicate an increased health risk for elderly patients but may also warn of a neurological problem including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease around more than a decade earlier than it may appear. Research into this began with tests in 2011 that involved annually monitoring 600 elderly area residents. The results revealed that the level of activation on the frontal lobe of the brain indicated the likeliness of a future fall. From these results, researchers hope to find a way to improve the executive function in the frontal lobe to improve a person’s gait.

Read more at: The Sydney Morning Herald

Obesity at a new high according to the World Health Organisation

Figures from the World Health Organisation reveal that global obesity of children and adolescents has increased tenfold in the past four decades. The study, put together by the World Health Organisation and the Imperial College London, looked at the weight and height measurements of over 130 million people above the age of 5. The results showed that in 1975 the rates of obesity in five million girls and six million boys increased to almost 50 million girls and 74 million boys by the year 2016. These results reflect a wider issue with food marketing, global food policies and healthy eating becoming more expensive.

Read more at: China Daily

High demand for Auslan classes in preparation for Australian Deaf Games

Residents of Albury and Wodonga, where next year’s Australian Deaf Games will be held, have signed up in overwhelming numbers to learn sign language. The demand for classes has been so high that people have had to be put on waiting lists. The Australian Deaf Games will see about 1000 deaf athletes head to the area to participate in 15 different sporting events. Deaf Sports Australia Marketing and Communication coordinator Sherrie Beaver believes that, “Sports breaks through those barriers for deaf and hard of hearing people, so they can participate on an equal basis as everyone else.”

Read more at: ABC