(Subjects: Religion/Worship, Lightworkers, Food, Health, Prescription Drugs, Homeopathy, Innate (Body intelligence), New Age movement, Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)

“…… Should I use Doctors and Drugs to Heal Me or Spiritual Methods?

"Dear Kryon, I have heard that you should stay natural and not use the science on the planet for healing. It does not honor God to go to a doctor. After all, don't you say that we can heal with our minds? So why should we ever go to a doctor if we can do it ourselves? Not only that, my doctor isn't enlightened, so he has no idea about my innate or my spiritual body needs. What should I do?"

First, Human Being, why do you wish to put so many things in boxes? You continue to want a yes and no answer for complex situations due to your 3D, linear outlook on almost everything. Learn to think out of the 3D box! Look at the heading of this section [above]. It asks which one should you do. It already assumes you can't do both because they seem dichotomous.

Let's use some spiritual logic: Here is a hypothetical answer, "Don't go to a doctor, for you can heal everything with your mind." So now I will ask: How many of you can do that in this room right now? How many readers can do that with efficiency right now? All of you are old souls, but are you really ready to do that? Do you know how? Do you have really good results with it? Can you rid disease and chemical imbalance with your mind right now?

I'm going to give you a truth, whether you choose to see it or not. You're not ready for that! You are not yet prepared to take on the task of full healing using your spiritual tools. Lemurians could do that, because Pleiadians taught them how! It's one of the promises of God, that there'll come a day when your DNA works that efficiently and you will be able to walk away from drug chemistry and the medical industry forever, for you'll have the creator's energy working at 100 percent, something you saw within the great masters who walked the earth.

This will be possible within the ascended earth that you are looking forward to, dear one. Have you seen the news lately? Look out the window. Is that where you are now? We are telling you that the energy is going in that direction, but you are not there yet.

Let those who feel that they can heal themselves begin the process of learning how. Many will be appreciative of the fact that you have some of the gifts for this now. Let the process begin, but don't think for a moment that you have arrived at a place where every health issue can be healed with your own power. You are students of a grand process that eventually will be yours if you wish to begin the quantum process of talking to your cells. Some will be good at this, and some will just be planting the seeds of it.

Now, I would like to tell you how Spirit works and the potentials of what's going to happen in the next few years. We're going to give the doctors of the planet new inventions and new science. These will be major discoveries about the Human body and of the quantum attributes therein.

Look at what has already happened, for some of this science has already been given to you and you are actually using it. Imagine a science that would allow the heart to be transplanted because the one you have is failing. Of course! It's an operation done many times a month on this planet. That information came from the creator, did you realize that? It didn't drop off the shelf of some dark energy library to be used in evil ways.

So, if you need a new heart, Lightworker, should you go to the doctor or create one with your mind? Until you feel comfortable that you can replace your heart with a new one by yourself, then you might consider using the God-given information that is in the hands of the surgeon. For it will save your life, and create a situation where you stay and continue to send your light to the earth! Do you see what we're saying?

You can also alter that which is medicine [drugs] and begin a process that is spectacular in its design, but not very 3D. I challenge you to begin to use what I would call the homeopathic principle with major drugs. If some of you are taking major drugs in order to alter your chemistry so that you can live better and longer, you might feel you have no choice. "Well, this is keeping me alive," you might say. "I don't yet have the ability to do this with my consciousness, so I take the drugs."

In this new energy, there is something else that you can try if you are in this category. Do the following with safety, intelligence, common sense and logic. Here is the challenge: The principle of homeopathy is that an almost invisible tincture of a substance is ingested and is seen by your innate. Innate "sees" what you are trying to do and then adjusts the body's chemistry in response. Therefore, you might say that you are sending the body a "signal for balance." The actual tincture is not large enough to affect anything chemically - yet it works!

The body [innate] sees what you're trying to do and then cooperates. In a sense, you might say the body is healing itself because you were able to give it instructions through the homeopathic substance of what to do. So, why not do it with a major drug? Start reducing the dosage and start talking to your cells, and see what happens. If you're not successful, then stop the reduction. However, to your own amazement, you may often be successful over time.

You might be able to take the dosage that you're used to and cut it to at least a quarter of what it was. It is the homeopathy principle and it allows you to keep the purpose of the drug, but reduce it to a fraction of a common 3D dosage. You're still taking it internally, but now it's also signaling in addition to working chemically. The signal is sent, the body cooperates, and you reduce the chance of side effects.

You can't put things in boxes of yes or no when it comes to the grand system of Spirit. You can instead use spiritual logic and see the things that God has given you on the planet within the inventions and processes. Have an operation, save your life, and stand and say, "Thank you, God, for this and for my being born where these things are possible." It's a complicated subject, is it not? Each of you is so different! You'll know what to do, dear one. Never stress over that decision, because your innate will tell you what is appropriate for you if you're willing to listen. ….”

Monsanto / GMO - Global Health

(Subjects: Big pharma [the drug companies of America] are going to have to change very soon or collapse. When you have an industry that keeps people sick for money, it cannot survive in the new consciousness., Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)
"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS" – Sep 29, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: ... I'm in Canada and I know it, but I will tell those listening and reading in the American audience the following: Get ready! Because there are some institutions that are yet to fall, ones that don't have integrity and that could never be helped with a bail out. Again, we tell you the biggest one is big pharma, and we told you that before. It's inevitable. If not now, then in a decade. It's inevitable and they will fight to stay alive and they will not be crossing the bridge. For on the other side of the bridge is a new way, not just for medicine but for care. ....) - (Text Version)

Pharmaceutical Fraud / Corruption cases

Health Care

Health Care
Happy birthday to Percy Julian, a pioneer in plant-drug synthesis. His research produced steroids like cortisone. (11 April 2014)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thailand slaps mass-massage Guinness record (VIDEO)

RT.com, 30 August, 2012

People take part in an attempt to break the world record for
 mass-massaging in Muang Thong Thanni, Bangkok August 30,
2012 (Reuters / Sukree Sukplang)

How long does it take to set a world record? In Thailand, 641 masseurs simultaneously gave clients massages for twelve minutes to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

The therapists in Bangkok more than doubled the previous record set in Australia in 2010. It saw 263 people being massaged at the same time for five minutes.

A traditional massage lasts two hours. This time around, an abbreviated version was used as therapists, dressed in traditional garb, showed off their skills.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Public Health to promote the Southeast Asian nation's renowned massage and spa industry.

Guinness Records representative, Rob Molloy, described it as “an amazing achievement”.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chemotherapy backfires - causes healthy cells to feed growth of cancer tumors

Natural News, by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, August 7, 2012
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...                              
(NaturalNews) Ever since chemotherapy was introduced into the practice of western medicine, doctors and oncologists have been trying to answer this nagging question: Why does chemotherapy seem to work at first, but then cancer tumors cells grow back even more aggressively while the body becomes resistant to chemotherapy?

It turns out that chemotherapy damages healthy cells, causing them to secrete a protein that accelerates the growth of cancer tumors. (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/chemotherapy-backfire-boost-cancer-growth-stud....)

This protein, dubbed "WNT16B," is taken up by nearby cancer cells, causing them to "grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy," said Peter Nelson of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He's the co-author of the study that documented this phenomenon, published in Nature Medicine.

This protein, it turns out, explains why cancer tumors grow more aggressively following chemotherapy treatments. In essence, chemotherapy turns healthy cells into WNT16B factories which churn out this "activator" chemical that accelerates cancer tumor growth.

The findings of the study were confirmed with prostate cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer tumors. This discovery that chemotherapy backfires by accelerating cancer tumor growth is being characterized as "completely unexpected" by scientists.

The chemotherapy fraud exposed

As NaturalNews has explained over the last decade, chemotherapy is medical fraud. Rather than boosting the immune response of patients, it harms the immune system, causing tumors to grow back. This latest researching further confirms what we've known for years in the holistic health community: That chemotherapy is, flatly stated, poison. It's not "treatment," it's not medicine, and it's not prevention or a cure. It's poison with virtually no medicinal value except in perhaps one to two percent of cancer cases.

The No. 1 side effect of chemotherapy is, by the way, cancer. Cancer centers should technically be renamed "poison centers" because they are in the business of poisoning patients with a toxic cocktail of chemicals that modern science reveals to be a cancer tumor growth accelerant!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In-N-Out dumps California slaughterhouse accused of abusing cows

LA Times, by Tiffany Hsu, August 21, 2012

In-N-Out said it severed ties with a Central California slaughterhouse accused
of abusing its cows. (Susan Goldman / Bloomberg News. / August 21, 2012)

Irvine-based fast-food chain In-N-Out severed ties with a Central California slaughterhouse after learning that the facility is being investigated for potentially inhumane treatment of cows.

In-N-Out executives said they cut off their supplier agreement with Central Valley Meat Co. on Sunday night, immediately after hearing accusations that animals at the plant were being shocked, shot and pulled to slaughter stations despite often being unable to stand or walk.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture  shut the Hanford site Monday after viewing a video from animal rights advocacy group Compassion Over Killing.

According to the Associated Press, the undercover footage shows pre-slaughter cows bleeding and thrashing after failed attempts to render them unconscious using a pneumatic gun.

In-N-Out, a popular West Coast chain, said Central Valley was one of five beef suppliers on its roster. Each week, the slaughterhouse supplied roughly 20% of the meat used to make the company’s hamburger patties, according to Carl Van Fleet, the chain’s executive vice president of planning and development.

“For the time being, our existing suppliers are making up the shortfall,” Van Fleet said.

Central Valley also supplies a number of other food-service customers.

Federal regulators are investigating whether some of the cows slaughtered for human consumption were lame or sick. The latter is illegal.

In-N-Out said it requires suppliers to meet USDA requirements and occasionally conducts unannounced spot inspections of supplier facilities to ensure compliance. Partners sign agreements promising not to sell meat from so-called downer cattle that are unable to move.

“In-N-Out Burger would never condone the inhumane treatment of animals and all of our suppliers must agree to abide by our strict standards for the humane treatment of cattle,”  In-N-Out Chief Operating Officer Mark Taylor said in a statement.

This still image made from video provided by Compassion Over Killing, appears
 to show workers at a Central California slaughterhouse bungling the slaughter of 
cows. Federal regulators shut down the slaughterhouse Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012,
 after receiving the animal welfare video, and are investigating whether beef from sick
cows reached the human food supply. (AP Photo/Compassion Over Killing)

Related Articles:

Plant Closed by USDA Supplied Beef for In-N-Out Burger

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Coca-Cola ranks last in Chinese consumer satisfaction survey

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2012-08-21

Commercials of young models having the time of their lives have not
helped Coca-Cola's image and reputation in China. (Photo/Xinhua)

Coca-Cola ranked last among 12 mainstream beverage brands in a Chinese satisfaction survey, reports Beijing Business Today.

According to the China Association for Quality's 2012 annual satisfaction survey, Chinese consumers gave the country's soft drinks an overall score of 72.4 out of 100, marking the first time in four years that satisfaction levels have increased.

Consumer satisfaction appeared to be influenced most by the brand's reputation and its perceived quality. Domestic beverage brands such as Nongfu Spring, Wong Lo Kat and Wahaha all achieved above average scores of 73 or more, while brands such as Coca-Cola, Huiyan and Robuts all performed below the survey average.

Coca-Cola, in particular, achieved the lowest overall score of 69.3, falling six spots since 2010. While the beverage continues occupy a sizable share of the market in China, repeated quality issues appear to have damaged the brand's reputation and image.

In April, regulators in northern China shut down Coca-Cola's Shanxi plant after it was discovered that some batches were made with water containing chlorine. The company was said to have angered its customers when it initially denied the allegations and later claimed that the products would not harm the health of its consumers.

In March, it was reported that Coca-Cola and Pepsi products contained 4-Methylimidazole, a chemical compound linked to tumors. Although Coca-Cola modified its manufacturing process to conform with new standards in California, the recipe was not changed for its European or Asian market, leading to "double standard" criticisms in China.

An industry analyst said China's beverage market has become increasingly competitive due to falling demand stemming from the global economic slowdown. Increased health consciousness also means traditionally popular beverages such as Coca-Cola are being replaced by consumers with mineral water, fruit juices and tea drinks, which have become the three most popular beverages in the country, the analyst said.

The 87-year-old doctor still charging patients $5 a visit

BBC News20 August 2012

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To residents of Rushville, Illinois, Dr Russell Dohner is a real-life folk hero. The 87-year-old physician has been caring for locals for 57 years.

And his office, directly across from the town square, contains the same phones, files cabinets and examining tables it did when he moved in.

But it is the price of a visit that patients find remarkable. Dr Dohner charges just $5 for a check-up - the same rate he's charged for the past three decades.

The BBC visited Dr Dohner to meet the real face of affordable healthcare.

Produced for the BBC by Leigh Paterson and Matt Danzico

Dr. Russell Dohner has been treating Rushville
 residents for about 60 years, while never charging
 more than $5 per visit.

Related Article:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Afterlife Investigations - Movie Feature - The Scole Experiments

From UFOTV®, accept no imitations. Breakthrough scientific evidence for the afterlife. The Scole Experiments. For five years a group of mediums and scientists witnessed more phenomena than in any other experiment in the history of the paranormal, including recorded conversations with the dead, written messages on sealed film, video of spirit faces and even spirit forms materializing. These experiments may finally convince you there is life after death. The scientific team in change of overseeing these experiments include world renowned Cambridge Scientist - Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Dr. David Fontana and Researcher Montague Keen who died during the filming of the documentary.

"Perceptions of God" – June 6, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Quantum TeachingThe Fear of God, Near-death Experience, God Becomes Mythology, Worship, Mastery, Intelligent Design, Benevolent Creator,Global Unity.... etc.(Text version)

“… When a Human almost dies, they get close to the veil, very close. They are ever so close to the creator's energy and just barely touched by it. When their heart was stopping and their breathing was almost gone, before they were brought back to life with science, they got to touch the hand of God for just an instant. What they saw was magnificent! The energy before them was filled with love and light, filled with family, filled with beauty. There was no strife there. There was no punishment there or even the hint of it. And when they came back from that experience, listen to what they told you. It changed their lives, didn't it? Listen to each one talk about it, for they continued to say, "There is nothing to fear and death is something you experience as a normal transition." Blessed is the Human Being who experiences both death and birth and has the wisdom to report, "Oh, it's uncomfortable, but I'll get through it, because I've done it before." The person who has experienced a near-death experience is no longer afraid to die! What does that tell you? They have seen what is there and they embrace it! …”

Thursday, August 16, 2012

EU Considers Copying Australia’s Plain Cigarette Packaging

Jakarta Globe, August 16, 2012

A combo of handout images released by the Australian Government
 Department of Health and Ageing in 2010 shows both sides of a new
generic cigarette packaging with health warnings taking up 85 per cent
 of the pack and a minimal border. Australia on Thursday said it would
 become the world's first country to ban logos and branding on cigarette
 packets,prompting the European Union to weigh the possibility of forcing
tobacco companies into packaging cigarettes without prominent branding.
(AFP Photo/HO)

Related articles

Brussels. The European Union is weighing the possibility of forcing tobacco companies into packaging cigarettes without prominent branding, a spokesman said Thursday, hours after Australia’s highest court ruled that the approach is legal.

“We are working on a proposal to revise the tobacco products directive. Many things are being discussed, including the possibility of plain packaging,” European Commission spokesman Antony Gravili told reporters in Brussels.

The proposal is expected to be brought forward in October or November, Gravili said. It would have to be approved by EU member states and the European Parliament in order to become law.

“We are still very much at the start of the thought process.

There’s nothing concrete at this point,” Gravili noted. “We are looking at a whole range of things.” In Australia, legislation approved last year and set to take effect in December would require cigarettes to be sold in almost identical olive-green packs bearing gruesome photographs of the health effects of smoking.

Gravili noted that another option under consideration is to require such dissuasive images to be larger in the EU.

On Thursday, Australia’s high court dismissed a challenge by tobacco firms who argued that the country’s anti-smoking initiative broke trademark laws.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Crowdsourcing reveals life-saving potential in global health research

Technology is allowing partners who previously worked independently to collaborate to combat neglected diseases

guardian.co.uk, IRIN, part of the Guardian development network, Wednesday 15 August 2012

A child is vaccinated against tuberculosis in Benin. Photograph: Olivier

A growing trend in collaborative health research is creating potentially life-saving global partnerships between pharmaceutical companies, academic researchers, disease advocates and even the general public, who are drawn into the world of science through crowdsourcing.

Dwindling money for research and development, and waning donor patience have forced global health players to change how they innovate new products and processes.

"For years, pharmaceutical companies and research institutes … have contributed to fighting neglected tropical diseases, but often independently or through smaller partnerships," said Don Joseph, chief executive of the California-based NGO BIO Ventures for Global Health, which encourages biotechnology firms to develop drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for neglected diseases.

Finding an elusive disease solution independently could mean individual glory, but also long-term research and development commitments and higher financial risk. "Generally, drug development is expensive, takes a long time and most things don't work," Joseph said. Risks have grown exponentially, with clinical trial costs rising by an estimated 70% between 2008 and 2011. Partnerships help spread the burden.

"The challenge is to create projects that are simple and allow a streamlined process for organisations to participate," Joseph told IRIN. "[Open innovation partnerships could] significantly reduce trial and error, and lead neglected disease researchers to that 'Eureka moment' more quickly and effectively."

Partners – who might once have been competitors – are increasingly sharing expertise, intellectual property and financing. Henry Chesbrough, executive director of the programme in open innovation at the University of California, coined the term "open innovation" in 2003 to describe this shift. "The prevailing logic was … if you want something done, do it yourself," Chesbrough said in 2011. "This new logic of open innovation turns that completely on its head."

Researchers are realising that in the race to discover the next big cure, strength lies in numbers. "Competitive advantage now comes from having more people working with you than with anyone else," Chesbrough said.

Global health initiatives

"We have been encouraged by the willingness of industry to consider and participate creatively in open innovation initiatives for neglected diseases and other devastating illnesses," said Joseph.

The Re:Search project, a partnership launched in 2011 between BIO Ventures and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), which comprises 185 UN member states, calls for a more global interpretation of intellectual property to spur health innovation and development, and the collaboration of biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies and academia.

For example, the project will make it easier for a researcher in Tanzania to connect with pharmaceutical giants for additional biomedical information, resources and detailed product knowhow, Joseph said. Such information has often been carefully guarded because of intellectual property rights, but transparency between partners will be the key.

Crowdsourcing science

To meet health challenges more quickly and with tight budgets, an increasing number of organisations are turning to crowdsourcing competitions to outsource innovation to the general public.

In 2009, the international scientific journal Nature teamed with InnoCentive to use online crowdsourcing to invite solutions and proposals to medical and scientific problems. InnoCentive began hosting global health challenges in 2006, linking organisations looking for solutions with problem-solvers who can earn tens of thousands of dollars. The organisations give prizes for winning solutions in return for the intellectual property rights.

In 2008, a challenge by the Global Alliance for TB drug Development (TB Alliance) to simplify the manufacturing processes of an advanced-stage TB drug earned the two winning problem-solvers $20,000 (£12,750) each for their ideas.

The electronics company Nokia recently partnered with the California-based educational NGO X Prize Foundation, to offer $2.25m to encourage the innovative use of digital tools, particularly mobile health applications.

"This competition will enable us to realise the full potential of mobile-sensing devices, leading to advances in … [the] technology, which can play a major role in transforming the lives of billions of people around the world," said Nokia's executive vice-president and chief technology officer, Henry Tirri. Sensing technologies detect disease and measure health indicators such as temperature and blood pressure.

Product development partnerships

In the 1990s, decades before crowdsourcing was applied to humanitarian response, product-development partnerships (PDPs) tried to accelerate the development of technologies to fight TB, Aids, malaria and neglected diseases. The TB Alliance, a PDP launched in 2000, says there are more than 140 partnerships projects either being developed or in the process of investigating drugs, diagnostics and vaccines for neglected diseases.

Among these, the Gavi Alliance, formerly known as the global alliance for vaccines and immunisation, aims to get more vaccines to poorer countries, and the EU's innovative medicines initiative is developing new drugs and tests for diseases, including TB.

Growing pains

Open innovation partnerships can take a variety of forms, but in product development, partners with differing expertise, financing and motives can mean clashing agendas. Historically, product development has been driven by market incentives, which include maintaining intellectual property rights, but new partnerships are proceeding without these guarantees.

"We have had nothing but positive, eager interactions between members [of the Wipo project]," said Joseph. "The perceived barrier of intellectual property as a brake on collaboration in drug and vaccine development is, in our view, exaggerated."

Open innovation is still a new commercial approach to partnerships for global health, Joseph said. "Right now, open innovation seems to be working well to speed the development of new products, but we're in the very early stages of these projects. Time will tell."

Poo power celebrated as solar toilet wins sanitation prize

Human waste attracts less funding than other development projects but Reinvent the Toilet challenge recognises that better hygiene can cut healthcare costs and prevent early deaths

guardian.co.uk, Mark Tran, Wednesday 15 August 2012

A solar powered toilet designed by the California Institute of Technology for
 the Reinvent the Toilet challenge. Photograph: Michael Hanson/Gates Foundation

A solar powered toilet that breaks down water and human waste into hydrogen gas for use in fuel cells has won first prize in a competition for next-generation toilets to improve sanitation in the developing world.

The California Institute of Technology in the US received the $100,000 (£64,000) first prize for its design. Loughborough University in the UK took the $60,000 second prize for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals and clean water, and Canada's University of Toronto came third, winning $40,000 for a toilet that sanitises faeces and urine, and recovers resources and clean water.

The winners took part in a Reinvent the Toilet challenge set by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which asked designers to break with a sanitation model that has changed little since it was developed by Alexander Cummings more than 200 years ago. It is a model that depends on piped water, sewer or electrical connections that poor countries can ill afford.

A year ago, the Gates Foundation issued a challenge to universities to design toilets that can capture and process waste without piped waster and transform human waste into useful resources such as energy and water. 

"Imagine what's possible if we continue to collaborate, stimulate new investment in this sector, and apply our ingenuity in the years ahead," said Bill Gates as he announced the winners on Tuesday in Seattle, Washington state. "Many of these innovations will not only revolutionise sanitation in the developing world, but also help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations."

Sanitation and hygiene are the laggards in the millennium development goals (MDGs) of reducing extreme poverty. Basic sanitation, covering toilets, latrines, handwashing and waste, is not an MDG but a target under MDG seven on ensuring environmental sustainability.

Sanitation and hygiene have been the poor cousins in the global water, sanitation and hygiene work and programmes, outfunded by as much as 13 to one, even though most water-related diseases are really sanitation-related diseases.

In March, the UN announced that the world had reached the goal of halving the number of people without access to safe drinking water, well ahead of the 2015 deadline. However, the world is still far from meeting the MDG target for sanitation, and is unlikely to do so by 2015.

Only 63% of the world population has access to improved sanitation, a figure projected to increase to only 67% by 2015, well below the 75% target in the MDGs. Currently 2.5 billion people lack access to an "improved sanitation facility", which hygienically separates human waste from human contact.

As Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, has acknowledged, sanitation is a sensitive and unpopular subject. It is not a high-profile issue, although the UN declared access to water and sanitation a fundamental right in 2010 and there is a UN rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

At the current rate, the world will miss the sanitation MDG target by 13 percentage points, meaning there will be 2.6 billion people without access to improved sanitation, according to the 2010 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Unicef joint monitoring programme for water supply and sanitation (pdf). If things carry on as they are, the MDG target will not be met until 2049.

As many as 1.2 billion people practice what the UN describes as "open defecation". They go to the toilet behind bushes, in fields, in plastic bags or along railway tracks. The practice poses particular problems for women and girls, who can be subject to physical and verbal abuse or humiliation.

According to the WHO, improved sanitation delivers up to $9 in social and economic benefits for every $1 invested because it increases productivity, reduces healthcare costs, and prevents illness, disability, and early death.

The Gates Foundation is spending about $80m a year on water, sanitation and hygiene, according to Reuters. The $370m it has committed so far is a small portion of its development funding. Since 1994, the foundation has handed out, or is committed to, more than $26bn in grants.

Related Article:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FEDS Want Missouri To Set Up Drug Tracking Program

Associated Press, by Jim Salter, Aug 14, 2012

FILE - In this June 22, 2011 file photo, Gil Kerlikowske, U.S. director of 
Office of National Drug Control Policy, is shown at a press conference in 
Mexico City. The nation's drug czar said Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 monitoring 
programs are helping address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
But just one state continues to hold out: Missouri. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- While heroin, methamphetamine and even synthetic drugs tend to get much of the attention, the nation's drug czar says prescription drug abuse is far and away the most lethal drug problem in America.

Monitoring programs adopted in 49 states are helping to address the problem of prescription drug abuse, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said in an interview with The Associated Press. The lone holdout is Missouri, where Kerlikowske plans to be Wednesday to push for such a program.

Kerlikowske called prescription drug abuse an "epidemic." Nearly 21,000 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to prescription drug overdoses in 2009, the most recent year with statistics available.

"The number of deaths as a result of prescription drug use and abuse are greater than heroin and cocaine overdose deaths combined," Kerlikowske said.

Kerlikowske is scheduled to be in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton on Wednesday. Among those meeting with him will be state Sen. Kevin Engler, a Farmington Republican who has unsuccessfully pushed for a state program.

Engler said he'll try again in 2013. But the chief opponent, Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, said he's willing to pursue another filibuster like the one that killed Engler's proposal this year. Schaaf said the databases reveal sensitive information that many people don't believe the government needs to know.

"All they have to do is punch in your name and address and they can find out every controlled substance you've been prescribed," Schaaf said this week.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy said the number of deaths from prescription drug overdoses has increased fourfold over the past decade. Addictions are up sharply, too. Sometimes people being treated for legitimate pain become addicted, Kerlikowske said, but in many other cases people looking to get high turn to prescription drugs.

Some start by stealing drugs from relatives or friends. "That's why they're now producing medicine cabinets with locks," Kerlikowske said. "Realtors will tell you to clean out your medicine cabinet before an open house."

Many prescription drug abusers eventually "doctor shop" - that is, search out physicians who will give them prescription drugs to feed a habit. Kerlikowske said that's where monitoring programs are helpful.

The programs involve electronic databases that can identify when a person is going to multiple medical offices to obtain prescriptions. State licensure boards can also use the databases to identify so-called "pill mills," or doctor offices that overprescribe medicines.

Florida was once known as the pill mill capital. Just a few years ago, more than 90 of the nation's top 100 prescription-dispensing physicians were in Florida. That was before the state instituted a tracking program in 2009.

"Now they're down to 13 of the top 100," Kerlikowske said. "Many of those (pill mills) have been opening offices in Georgia, Kentucky and Missouri."

Engler said, "That's why we're turning into the pill mill capital of the country."

But Schaaf, a family physician, said he doesn't believe the databases are effective, noting the increasing number of overdoses and deaths despite the rising number of statewide monitoring programs.

Kerlikowske and Engler say the problem is too significant to ignore and monitoring is useful.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Doctors target gun violence as a social disease

Associated press, by Marililynn Marchione, Aug. 11, 2012

In this Aug. 8, 2012 photo, Dr. Stephen W. Hargarten poses for a photo in
a trauma  room at Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin's emergency
department in Milwaukee. Hargarten helped many of the victims of Sunday's
 shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Is a gun like a virus, a car, tobacco or alcohol? Yes say public health experts, who in the wake of recent mass shootings are calling for a fresh look at gun violence as a social disease.

What we need, they say, is a public health approach to the problem, like the highway safety measures, product changes and driving laws that slashed deaths from car crashes decades ago, even as the number of vehicles on the road rose.

One example: Guardrails are now curved to the ground instead of having sharp metal ends that stick out and pose a hazard in a crash.

"People used to spear themselves and we blamed the drivers for that," said Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency medicine professor who directs the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis.

It wasn't enough back then to curb deaths just by trying to make people better drivers, and it isn't enough now to tackle gun violence by focusing solely on the people doing the shooting, he and other doctors say.

They want a science-based, pragmatic approach based on the reality that we live in a society saturated with guns and need better ways of preventing harm from them.

The need for a new approach crystallized last Sunday for one of the nation's leading gun violence experts, Dr. Stephen Hargarten. He found himself treating victims of the Sikh temple shootings at the emergency department he heads in Milwaukee. Seven people were killed, including the gunman, and three were seriously injured.

It happened two weeks after the shooting that killed 12 people and injured 58 at a movie theater in Colorado, and two days before a man pleaded guilty to killing six people and wounding 13, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson, Ariz., last year.

"What I'm struggling with is, is this the new social norm? This is what we're going to have to live with if we have more personal access to firearms," said Hargarten, emergency medicine chief at Froedtert Hospital and director of the Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "We have a public health issue to discuss. Do we wait for the next outbreak or is there something we can do to prevent it?"

About 260 million to 300 million firearms are owned by civilians in the United States; about one-third of American homes have one. Guns are used in two-thirds of homicides, according to the FBI. About 9 percent of all violent crimes involve a gun — roughly 338,000 cases each year.

Mass shootings don't seem to be on the rise, but not all police agencies report details like the number of victims per shooting and reporting lags by more than a year, so recent trends are not known.

"The greater toll is not from these clusters but from endemic violence, the stuff that occurs every day and doesn't make the headlines," said Wintemute, the California researcher.

More than 73,000 emergency room visits in 2010 were for firearm-related injuries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.

Dr. David Satcher tried to make gun violence a public health issue when he became CDC director in 1993. Four years later, laws that allow the carrying of concealed weapons drew attention when two women were shot at an Indianapolis restaurant after a patron's gun fell out of his pocket and accidentally fired. Ironically, the victims were health educators in town for an American Public Health Association convention.

That same year, Hargarten won a federal grant to establish the nation's first Firearm Injury Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

"Unlike almost all other consumer products, there is no national product safety oversight of firearms," he wrote in the Wisconsin Medical Journal.

That's just one aspect of a public health approach. Other elements:

—"Host" factors: What makes someone more likely to shoot, or someone more likely to be a victim. One recent study found firearm owners were more likely than those with no firearms at home to binge drink or to drink and drive, and other research has tied alcohol and gun violence. That suggests that people with driving under the influence convictions should be barred from buying a gun, Wintemute said.

—Product features: Which firearms are most dangerous and why. Manufacturers could be pressured to fix design defects that let guns go off accidentally, and to add technology that allows only the owner of the gun to fire it (many police officers and others are shot with their own weapons). Bans on assault weapons and multiple magazines that allow rapid and repeat firing are other possible steps.

—"Environmental" risk factors: What conditions allow or contribute to shootings. Gun shops must do background checks and refuse to sell firearms to people convicted of felonies or domestic violence misdemeanors, but those convicted of other violent misdemeanors can buy whatever they want. The rules also don't apply to private sales, which one study estimates as 40 percent of the market.

—Disease patterns, observing how a problem spreads. Gun ownership — a precursor to gun violence — can spread "much like an infectious disease circulates," said Daniel Webster, a health policy expert and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research in Baltimore.

"There's sort of a contagion phenomenon" after a shooting, where people feel they need to have a gun for protection or retaliation, he said.

That's already evident in the wake of the Colorado movie-theater shootings. Last week, reports popped up around the nation of people bringing guns to "Batman" movies. Some of them said they did so for protection.

Associated Press writer Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report. 

Follow Marilynn Marchione's coverage at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP

Thursday, August 9, 2012

US, Vietnam cooperate to clean up toxic Agent Orange

Deutsche Welle, 9 Aug 2012

The US sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange on the jungles of Vietnam during its war there, creating long-term adverse health effects. Decades later, the former enemies are cooperating to clean up the chemical.

The United States began helping Vietnam clean up the toxic chemical defoliant Agent Orange for the first time on Thursday, nearly 40 years after the end of Washington's bloody war with the Southeast Asian communist nation.

The US and Vietnam plan to decontaminate some 73,000 cubic meters (2.5 million cubic feet) of soil surrounding the Da Nang airport in the central part of the country. American forces stored and loaded Agent Orange onto planes at Da Nang during the war, which ended in 1975. Between 1,000,000 and 2,500,000 Vietnamese died in the war and over 58,000 Americans.

"We are both moving earth and taking the first steps to bury the legacies of our past," US Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear said at a ceremony at Da Nang airport on Thursday. "I look forward to even more successes to follow."

Washington sprayed some 45.5 million liters (12 million gallons) of the defoliant during the Vietnam War in "Operation Ranch Hand," a campaign to remove the jungle canopy and expose North Vietnamese forces and their supply lines to attack.

Agent Orange contains the chemical dioxin, which is known to cause cancer and respiratory problems. The Vietnamese government claims that up to four million of its citizens suffer from diseases related to Agent Orange. US soldiers were also affected by the chemical. Washington, for its part, maintains that the link between dioxin exposure and disease is "uncertain." 

The Vietnamese government estimates that
 millions still suffer from diseases related to
Agent Orange
The two former enemies are using technology that heats the contaminated soil at Da Nang to high temperatures, thereby breaking down the dioxin and rendering it into harmless compounds. According to the US embassy, the soil around Da Nang should be safe again by 2016.

No compensation for victims

Although the US has begun to assist in efforts to clean up Agent Orange in Vietnam, it still has not committed any money to helping the victims of the chemical. According to Vietnamese authorities, children are still being born with deformities and health defects three generations after exposure.

"They have not given any money to help victims of dioxin improve their health," said Mai The Chinh, head of the Propaganda Board of the Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin. "The life of Agent Orange victims is very difficult now."

The US and Vietnam are also considering a clean up at Bien Hoa, in the southern province of Dong Nai. The airport there is actually more contaminated than Da Nang, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Law newspaper. Phu Cat airport in the central province of Binh Dinh is another heavily contaminated area.

The cleanup is a joint project between Vietnam's Defense Ministry and the US Agency for International Development. Work began last year with the clearance of unexploded ordinance from the area surrounding Da Nang.

slk/tj (AFP, Reuters, dpa)