Health and Food Safety 

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) published a statement on emerging health and environmental issues.

The SCHEER statement on emerging health and environmental issues draws attention to 14 emerging issues in the non-food area that Committee members have identified as having a potential impact on human health and/or the environment in the future. Among the risks identified is the increase of pharmaceuticals and illicit drug loads in wastewater as a result of rise in the use of drugs, aging population and fly tipping of waste from illegal drug manufacturing sites. The presence of antibiotics in surface water may represent a change in the functioning of ecosystems and a risk to human health

 

Source: Health and Food Safety e-News – Newsroom Archive

Is healthcare on the brink of a global workforce crisis?

KPMG Global Chairman for Healthcare Dr Mark Britnell, cautions how healthcare is “on the brink of a global workforce crisis” – how prepared is the healthcare sector for these shortages?

London 20 March 2019 – A shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030 will have a devastating impact on the world’s healthcare sector unless swift action is taken, KPMG Global Chairman for Healthcare Dr Mark Britnell has warned. Is this just the beginning of a global workforce crisis?

“Overcoming the health worker deficit and looming staffing crisis presents the single biggest challenge for healthcare during the next decade,” he said yesterday at the launch of his new book Human: Solving the Global Workforce Crisis in Healthcare.

Healthcare is one of the largest sectors and employers in the world, worth over $9 trillion USD (~€7.9 trillion EUR) globally and consuming an average 10 per cent of a country’s GDP. However, according to Britnell, it simply does not have enough staff to care for patients anymore, and if swift action is not taken, we will soon be engulfed in a workforce crisis with severe implications on a global scale.

To read more about this go to: https://www.healtheuropa.eu/global-workforce-crisis/90846/

International Day of Happiness: UK ‘becoming more cheerful’

Britons are among the happiest people in the world – and are becoming more cheerful, according to an annual United Nations survey.

The seventh annual World Happiness Report placed the UK 15th in the 156-country ranking, just ahead of Ireland.

The list, based on research conducted between 2016 and 2018, is published on International Day of Happiness.

Finland, Denmark and Norway were the happiest nations while South Sudan replaced Burundi as the least happy.

International Day of Happiness began in 2012 when all countries of the United Nations agreed to create an official, annual fixture on the calendar.

The list is published by the London-based Action for Happiness charity and sees survey respondents place the status of their lives on a scale ranging from 0 to 10.

To read more about this on the BBC website, go to: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47637378?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ocid=socialflow_twitter&ns_source=twitter

Real People, Real Stories: Men’s Mental Health

A new awareness campaign by Samaritans shares real stories from men who have been through tough times to encourage other men to seek help.

Two in five men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 don’t seek support when they need to, because they prefer to solve their own problems. The survey also showed that men often don’t want to feel like a burden and don’t feel their problems will be understood.

Our Interreg 2Seas funded project SBS (Step by Step) is targeting men, in particular those who may be socially isolated and suffering from poor mental health or poor wellbeing, to help tackle this issue in the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

To read more about the Samaritans campaign, go to: https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/real-people-real-stories/

And to read more about the SBS project, go to: http://www.healthandeuropecentre.nhs.uk/home-3/projects/current-projects-2/sbs-2/

Treating ovarian cancer may be achieved with a new class of drugs

According to Manchester University, UK, a new class of drugs, called PARG inhibitors, have the ability of treating ovarian cancer and even stopping cancer cells from growing.

Published in the Journal Cancer Cell, a study funded by the Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust showed that treating ovarian cancer may come sooner than you think. According to the researchers at The University of Manchester the drugs, PARG inhibitors, can kill ovarian cancer cells by targeting weaknesses within their ability to copy their DNA.

The first-in-class PARG inhibitor PDD00017273, was discovered in the Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, part of The University of Manchester, as part of a targeted program to discover PARG inhibitors for the clinic.

To read more about this on the Health Europa website, go to: https://www.healtheuropa.eu/treating-ovarian-cancer/90840/

This program is currently being progressed through a collaboration with IDEAYA Biosciences, Inc., an oncology-focused biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery of breakthrough synthetic lethality medicines and immuno-oncology therapies.

Why and how Europe’s food systems need to change?

What can be done to prepare Europe’s food systems for the future? In a new Policy Précis, EuroHealthNet examines pathways, solutions and best practices to move towards healthier and more sustainable and inclusive food systems in Europe and beyond. 

Despite growing concern about sustainability, Europe’s food systems still put undue stress on our environment. By restraining access to decent and affordable nutrition, our food systems perpetuate and drive up health inequalities. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) continues to subsidise intensive production of alcohol, meat, dairy fats and sugars, products that are known to contribute to the growing prevalence of obesity, and Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

To read the Policy Précis in full, go to: https://eurohealthnet.eu/sites/eurohealthnet.eu/files/publications/Towards%20healthy%2C%20sustainable%20and%20inclusive%20European%20food%20systems.pdf#overlay-context=

Why we need to talk about losing a baby

Losing a baby in pregnancy through miscarriage or stillbirth is still a taboo subject worldwide, linked to stigma and shame. Many women still do not receive appropriate and respectful care when their baby dies during pregnancy or childbirth. 

Miscarriage is the most common reason for losing a baby during pregnancy. Estimates vary, although March of Dimes, an organization that works on maternal and child health, indicates a miscarriage rate of 10-15% in women who knew they were pregnant. Pregnancy loss is defined differently around the world, but in general a baby who dies before 28 weeks of pregnancy is referred to as a miscarriage, and babies who die at or after 28 weeks are stillbirths. Every year, 2.6 million babies are stillborn, and many of these deaths are preventable. However, miscarriages and stillbirths are not systematically recorded, even in developed countries, suggesting that the numbers could be even higher.  

To read more about this go to: https://www.who.int/maternal-health/why-we-need-to-talk-about-losing-a-baby

National policy experts call for bold action for healthy ageing in the Region

National policy experts on healthy ageing have called for bold action to promote healthy ageing and to invest in a future where all older people have the freedom to live an active and healthy life that allows them to continue doing what they value. The call was made during a meeting held on 26–27 February 2019 in Moscow, Russian Federation, where participants from more than 30 countries of the WHO European Region came together to take stock of the policies and strategies across the Region.

WHO supports countries in leading the way towards a world for all ages. In the next 10 years, healthy ageing will be high on the global health agenda, with plans to launch a Decade of Healthy Ageing from 2020 to 2030.

To read more about this on the WHO/Europe website, go to: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Life-stages/healthy-ageing/news/news/2019/03/national-policy-experts-call-for-bold-action-for-healthy-ageing-in-the-region

Cancer screening device: detecting cancer from breath

Detecting cancer from breath doesn’t sound possible right? Well, SniffPhone is the new cancer screening device that enables early diagnosis of gastric cancer by simply exhaling into your phone.

Currently in its prototype phase, SniffPhone enables early diagnosis of gastric cancer from detecting cancer from breath. This new cancer screening device has the ability to revolutionise cancer screening all over the world.

SniffPhone is a small sensor developed as a cancer screening device that can be attached to a smartphone.

In practice, the user holds the device in front of his or her mouth and exhales onto the sensor to give a breath sample. This test for cancer measures the contained Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) using highly sensitive nanotechnology-based chemical sensors.

The measurements are then sent via Bluetooth using a smartphone to a dedicated cloud platform, where they are analysed by the appropriate medical personnel.

The SniffPhone project is financed under the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research, technological development and demonstration. The SniffPhone was developed by a consortium of nine partners from six countries. The nanosensors of the SniffPhone were developed in Israel, the micropump by Cellix in Ireland, fluidics by Microfluidic ChipShop in Germany, and the cloud platform by VTT in Finland.

To read more about this go to: https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cancer-screening-device-detecting-cancer-from-breath/90718/