Drug Could Be An Inexpensive Life Saver For Millions Of African Children With Sickle-Cell Disease
There is currently no treatment for sickle-cell disease in Africa. While more research needs to be done on hydroxyurea, a drug invented to fight blood cancers, early tests show the inexpensive, easy-to-give pill is safe. In other international health news, researchers say progress is slowing on eradicating polio.
The New York Times:
‘From Nothing To Gangbusters’: A Treatment For Sickle-Cell Disease Proves Effective In Africa
A drug that protects children in wealthy countries against painful and sometimes lethal bouts of sickle-cell disease has been proven safe for use in Africa, where the condition is far more common, scientists reported on Saturday. More research remains to be done, experts said, but knowing that hydroxyurea — a cheap, effective and easy-to-take pill — can safely be given to African children may save millions of youngsters from agonizing pain and early deaths. (McNeil, 12/1)
Polio Cases No Longer Declining; WHO Fears Future Resurgence
Progress has stalled in ridding the world of polio. An emergency committee of the World Health Organization unanimously agreed Friday to continue to designate the paralyzing disease a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern." WHO originally designated polio in this way in 2014, deeming it a health threat serious enough to endanger communities worldwide. This year, WHO has recorded 27 cases of wild poliovirus worldwide, compared with 22 total cases last year. Though the small number of cases may appear insignificant, the committee said the trend is noteworthy because it shows stagnation. (Scutti, 11/30)