Health & Lifesciences Talking Points 07-06-2016


China establishes target dates for family doctor access
In a newly released guideline that aims to improve healthcare, a targeted date of 2020 has been set for all people in China to have readily available access to a family doctor. This comes in light of the ever-increasing number of problems presented by the steadily aging population and the heightened onset of chronic disease. By the end of 2017, the proposed plan aims to be able to service about sixty percent of citizens in particularly urgent groups, including pregnant women, the elderly, children, and those who suffer from chronic diseases. The majority of medical access will be provided by general practitioners, and families will be given the option to sign one-year contracts with family doctors with the option of renewal or change at the end of the term. The hope is that basic healthcare needs across China and speedily-expedited hospital transfers will be better-managed with the rollout of this plan. Click here to read the full article.

UH World Food Program head says benchmark set by China in world fight against hunger
Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, has said that China has set a benchmark for what can be achieved in the global fight against hunger. Noting that Chinese achievements in attaining food security and its contributions of over 100 million dollars to the WFP for use in developing countries have far exceeded any expectations, Cousin said that, “China is my example to the world,” and added that these feats must be replicated by other nations. These statements were made at the WFP-China South-South Cooperation Policy Dialogue Tour, where countries from Sub-Saharan Africa were invited to learn about food security strategies from the Chinese government for implementation in their own home settings. Click here to read the full article.

Australian scientists say lowered consumption of dairy a “concern” for health in future
Australian scientists have recently reported that one in six Australians are avoiding consuming dairy, the vast majority of whom do so in order to avoid short-term gastrointestinal problems. This has led to scientific concern that a prolonged lack of dairy in the diet can result in a deficiency of calcium and, subsequently, a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis and other similar bone-related conditions. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) behavioral scientist Bella Yantcheva said in a statement that, “The scale of people restricting their diet without a medical reason is very concerning in terms of the public health implications, especially for women,” as cutting dairy – one of the major food groups – out of the regular diet has the highest associated risks for women. The CSIRO recommends that Australians adhere to balanced food consumption within all major food groups. Click here to read the full article.

Key to developing long-term malaria vaccine discovered by Australian researchers
Queensland-based researchers have announced that they believe they have uncovered key research in the search for a long-term vaccine for malaria. Scientists from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have linked the activation of immune cells known as CD8+ T cells to an increased level of protection against the disease, a breakthrough that they arrived at through the compared testing of two different groups of mice. The experimental group – the group in which CD8+ T cells were activated – exhibited an increased resistance to malaria. As the World Health Organization estimates that 214 million people were infected with malaria in 2015, almost 450,000 of whom died, this key research is a promising and valuable breakthrough. Click here to read the full article.