Borders, Budgets, and the Rising Risk of Disease
Is there a perfect storm brewing along our nation’s southern border? Let’s take a look at the numbers in El Paso, Texas where I recently visited:
- There are 27 million crossings per year alone at the El Paso Point of Entry (POE)
- Cuts to federal funding including a 50% reduction in the Early Warning Infectious Disease Program as well as 12.5% cuts to critical preparedness and response funding;
- Texas is second in the nation for number of tuberculosis cases, the majority of which are found near the border and many of the cases involve tuberculosis strains that are drug resistant
- The bordering country, Mexico, was the source of the last global influenza pandemic
So is this a bad situation getting worse or a ticking bomb? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Public Health Matters Blog*
Emerging economies must act immediately to halt rising obesity rates before the epidemic becomes as severe as it is in first-world countries, according to new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The OECD report was published in the Lancet. It characterizes the prevalence of obesity in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. Obesity rates were found to vary dramatically across these six countries. In Mexico, a stunning 70 percent of adults were reported to be overweight or obese. Nearly half of all Brazilians, Russians and South Africans fell into these categories. China and India had a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity, but were moving rapidly in the wrong direction, according to the OECD.
Developing nations don’t have enough resources to handle the health consequences of obesity, which include an increased risk of cardiac disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and disability from all causes.
Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Pizaazz*
This picture from 3G Doctor is remarkable. It captures the flier of a Merck supported Mexican Medmobile initiative that apparently connects patients with their doctors via SMS (translation available on 3G Doctor Blog.)
But don’t expect fliers of this type in American offices anytime soon. Risk of privacy violation and difficulty in documentation stifle this level of
doctor-patient connectivity. The very laws created to protect patients may ultimately thwart the timely adoption of new communication channels.
And the slow march towards a single payer system will only make real connectivity a rare bird.
Look to the groundswell in mobile technology and social platforms will force change in our current privacy laws. Until then look for innovation to come from the second and third world.
*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*