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HIV/AIDS Systematic Literature Review for Papua New Guinea now available

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The Systematic Literature Review of HIV/AIDS research in Papua New Guinea is now available online. This was released by the PNG National AIDS Council at the PNG Medical Symposium this month. Tropical Health Solutions Director, Associate Professor Ray Muller, led this review.

Full report, executive summary and data files are available for download.

Posted by Rick Speare

TB awareness DVD evaulated in the remote mountains of Malaita, Solomon Islands

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Children and other community members from a very remote East Kwaio mountain village, Nu'u, were fascinated by TB stories in the draft TB awareness DVD produced by the TB Reference Group, based at Atoifi in East Kwaio, Malaita Province, Solomon Islands.

Medical Observer - Rick Speare's latest Travel Bug

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Strongyloidiasis, caused by the intetsinal parasite, Strongyloides stercoralis is the topic of August's Travel Bug in Medical Observer. This curious nematode can be acquired abroad or in Australia, particularly in rural and remote Aboriginal communities. Symptoms of chronic strongyloidiasis are: larva currens (see picture), hives, upper abdominal pain, and episodic diarrhoea. Strongyloidiasis must be treated, otherwise it is a life-long infection that can have serious outcomes.

Basic Statistics and Analysis Course held at the Pacific Adventist University in PNG

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Tropical Health Solutions just conducted another very successful course on basic statistics and analysis using SPSS at the Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea . The course was specifically designed for staff and postgraduate students from across the university involved in research projects with the main focus on strengthening research capacity - one of THS's hallmarks! Download the full report here - together with enthusiatic participant feedback.

Death in travelers: a reality check

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The morbid topic of death in travelers is explored in Rick Speare's latest Travel Bug column in Medical Observer. Access the column here.

Fancy the air-conditioned rooftop class in Bangladesh trains? Train arriving in Mymansingh 2011. Photo by Kate Lynch.

Veterinarians and Hendra Virus: new studies

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Two papers by Diana Mendez and others (including THS Directors Rick Speare and Petra Buttner) just published in the August issue of the Australian Veterinary Journal highlight the importance of veterinarians in the control of Hendra virus (HeV) spillovers into horses. HeV is a virus carried by flying foxes in Australia and occasionally spills over to infect horses. Horses are amplifying hosts and can pass HeV onto humans. Veterinarians who treat horses play a very important role in protecting horse owners and other members of the public from HeV.

Executive Course on Global Health Diplomacy

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Rick Speare at Executive Course on Global Health Diplomacy

THS Director, Rick Speare, attended the 2013 Executive Course on Global Health Diplomacy run by the Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Switzerland. Duration was 5 days (1-5 July) and the course was held in Geneva. The overall quality of the course was very good. Speakers came from the global health arena, foreign affairs and international organisations; many were diplomats or negotiators themselves at the international level.

Traveling to China? Avoid Chinese bird flu

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Rick Speare's June colomn in Medical Observer highlights that travelers to China and surrounding countries should take precautions against avian influenza H7N9. The column mentions T shirt masks. These can be made from T-shirt material (slightly elastic) and used instead of surgical masks. A good option for bearded men! They are also washable.

Australian Bat Lyssavirus detected in small percent of bats

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Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) was detected in a small percent (2.9%) of bats tested in Australia in 2012 (AHWN 2013). The bats that are tested are a very select group of flying foxes and microbats that are behaving abnormally, injured or come into contact with people or their pets. There are no current figures on how common ABLV is in the wild bat population. Of the 122 flying foxes tested 5 (4.1%) were positive for ABLV. This figure is typical for flying foxes that come into contact with humans and are tested for ABLV.

Strong warning by WHO's Director-General

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Dr Margaret Chan, WHO's Direcor-General, highlighted two worrying trends is her opening speach to the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, held in Helsinki, Finland, 10 June 2013. She stated:

"I am deeply concerned by two recent trends.

The first relates to trade agreements. Governments introducing measures to protect the health of their citizens are being taken to court, and challenged in litigation. This is dangerous.

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