Health 

What are opioids and what are the risks?

US President Donald Trump has announced measures to combat the country’s opioid crisis. But what are these drugs and why are they such a problem? What are opioids? Opioids are a group of drugs that range from codeine, to illegal drugs like heroin. Prescription opioids are primarily used for pain relief. They work by attaching to opioid receptors in your brain cells to release signals that block your perception of pain and boost your feelings of pleasure. The strongest legal treatments are usually only available by prescription from a doctor…

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Access to Health Care Health 

India unveils ‘world’s largest’ public healthcare scheme

India has announced an ambitious health insurance scheme, which is designed to be a safety net for millions of people who struggle to afford medical care. It’s thought to be one of the largest such schemes in the world, and is likely to be popular with rural voters. India presently spends a little over 1% of its GDP on public healthcare, one of the lowest in the world. The announcement came in the annual budget, aimed at boosting growth ahead of a general election next year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley…

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Health World Health Issues 

Lactalis baby milk scare in France: Salmonella taint ‘began in 2005

The French dairy group at the centre of a baby milk scandal, Lactalis, has admitted some of its products may have been tainted over more than a decade. Millions of boxes of powdered milk have been recalled worldwide following a salmonella outbreak last year. Researchers say that the exact same strain of salmonella was responsible for another outbreak in 2005. The company said it was possible other babies could have been affected by Lactalis products since then. In a newspaper interview published on Thursday, Lactalis CEO Emmanuel Besnier said tests…

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Health 

Nutella ‘riots’ spread across French supermarkets

A discount on Nutella has led to violent scenes in a chain of French supermarkets, as shoppers jostled to grab a bargain on the sweet spread. Intermarché supermarkets offered a 70% discount on Nutella, bringing the price down from €4.50 (£3.90) to €1.40. But police were called when people began fighting and pushing one another. “They are like animals. A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand,” one customer told French media. A member of staff at one…

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PM Abbasi Health 

PM Abbasi, Gates talk social reforms at WEF

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday discussed avenues of partnership in health, education and other social sectors with Bill Gates in a meeting at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday, Radio Pakistan reported. Accompanied by Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Ms. Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Special Assistant to PM Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and senior government officials, the premier thanked Gate’s foundation for their support to the country, particularly for the Polio Eradication Programme. Small…

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Health Top Stories World Health Issues 

Shingles vaccine ‘has cut cases by a third’ in England

Cases of shingles have reduced by 35% in England since a vaccine was offered to 70-year-olds, Public Health England says. But it is urging more people in their 70s to get their free injection against the painful condition. They are most at risk of shingles and more likely to develop complications, such as severe nerve pain. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus and results in a nasty skin rash and fever. The vaccine programme started in England in 2013 and 5.5m people were eligible for…

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Global Warming Health 

Global warming may boost asylum-seekers in Europe, say researchers

NEW YORK: Climate change is forecast to massively boost the number of asylum seekers in Europe by century’s end if warming trends continue, US researchers said Thursday. The study in the journal Science is the latest in a body of research that shows how weather shocks such as droughts – made worse as the planet warms – can stoke conflicts around the globe. Depending how fast the planet warms, applications could rise by 28 to 188 per cent, according to the projection by experts at Columbia University in New York. That…

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Health 

Cholera outbreak hits record 1 million

By Angela Dewan and Henrik Pettersson, CNN Updated 1539 GMT (2339 HKT) December 21, 2017 (CNN) – It had already become the world’s biggest cholera outbreak in recent history, but now the number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen since April has hit 1 million, and at an incredibly fast speed. The International Committee of the Red Cross announced the record Thursday on its official Twitter account Thursday, describing it as “shocking.” “More than 80% of the population lack food, fuel, clean water and access to health care,” it said,…

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Alex Ritson Health 

Diabetes nightmare: A hypoglycemic attack on air

When BBC World Service presenter Alex Ritson’s nightmare became a reality, he was glad his team recognised he was having a hypoglycemic attack as a result of his diabetes. Here he explains how you could help if one of your friends finds themselves in his position. Most newsreaders I know have one thing in common: a recurring dream where everything starts going wrong a few minutes before the top of the hour and they only just make it into the studio on time. When the pips finally sound, they look…

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Sandy and Frank Health 

Huntington’s breakthrough may stop disease

The defect that causes the neurodegenerative disease Huntington’s has been corrected in patients for the first time, the BBC has learned. An experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain. The research team, at University College London, say there is now hope the deadly disease can be stopped. Experts say it could be the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years. Huntington’s is one of the most devastating diseases. Some patients described it as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease rolled into…

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