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[ Doctor Says Asylum Seekers Should Have Access To Health Services ]

Doctor Says Asylum Seekers Should Have Access To Health Services

A report in this week's BMJ Dr Paquita de Zulueta argues that asylum seekers and undocumented migrants must retain access to primary care, calling on her colleagues to "overcome bureaucratic barriers and register patients irrespective of their residential status." In her role as a GP and clinical volunteer for a health advocacy program in London, Paquita de Zulueta talks about some of the vulnerable people she sees, saying: "They are like Dante's lost souls, wafting in limbo, neither in heaven nor hell, but in a cold and lifeless purgatory, a place the world refuses to acknowledge. Many of them have not sought medical help for several years despite serious medical problems, some brought on by the lives they lead or the trauma they have experienced." She describes some highly disturbing stories, including that of a woman who was brought to the UK and forced into sexual slavery, a teenager who suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder who was at risk of harming himself or others, and women giving birth at home without any clinical supervision to name but a few.

Britain Backs Final Push To Rid World Of Guinea Worm Disease

In a final push to wipe out Guinea worm disease around the world, Britain announced on Wednesday it will give substantial backing to a new project to eradicate the parasite within this decade but insists other donors and countries must also provide much needed funds. If money is forthcoming, the final push funded by Britain and other donors, spearheaded by former US president Jimmy Carter, looks set to consign the debilitating parasitic disease to the history books alongside smallpox, and become the first ever to be eradicated without the help of drugs or vaccines. UK's International Development Minister Stephen O'Brien said in a statement: "Guinea worm is a painful disease of poverty and afflicts the world's poorest and most isolated communities. Families go hungry as parents are unable to work and they go without medical treatment because they cannot afford it.

FDA Allowed Unsafe Seafood Onto Market After BP Oil Spill Disaster

BPoilspill A study accuses the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of allowing seafoods with unsafe levels of contaminants to enter the food chain after the BP oil disaster. A study carried out by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and published in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health Perspective reports that the FDA underestimated the risk of cancer from accumulated contaminants in the seafood - especially the risk for pregnant mothers and children who live in the area. In some cases, the FDA let through foods with 10, 000 times too much contamination. The federal Agency is also accused of not identifying the risks for children and pregnant mothers. It appears the FDA used faulty assumptions and obsolete risk assessment methods. The NRDC has today filed a petition urging the FDA to set limits on PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that can be present in seafood.

Global Deaths From TB Falling, WHO

The number of people falling ill each year with tuberculosis (TB) is falling, with 8.8 million global cases last year compared to 9 million in 2005, and the number of deaths to the disease in 2010 fell to the lowest level in a decade. However, lack of funding, especially in fighting drug-resistant forms of TB, could undermine this progress, said the World Health Organization in a report that was published online yesterday. Since 1997, WHO, the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations, has published a comprehensive annual report on the worldwide TB situation. The report accounts for over 99% of the world's TB cases, giving an up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and how much progress is being made in prevention, care and control at global, regional and country level, including data from 198 countries.

Researchers Working To Network Robots And Sensor Systems So First Responders Can React More Quickly And Efficiently In An Emergency

Earthquaks, tsunamies, hurricanes - natural disasters always catch us by surprise, no matter how many early-warning systems are in place. This makes it all the more important for rescue teams to get a quick overview of the situation at hand. In SENEKA, a Markets Beyond Tomorrow project, Fraunhofer researchers are working to network the various robots and sensor systems first responders use so that they can react more quickly and efficiently in the case of an emergency to search for victims and survivors. The earth is shaking, buildings are collapsing, power and utility lines as well asroads are destroyed. A disaster can have many causes, but usually the outcome is the same: chaos, panic and dedicated but overtaxed first responders. The people lying buried under the rubble hold hopes for a speedy rescue, but sometimes it takes hours or even days to work through an entire area.

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