World Health for Equal Dignity (WHED)

HumanDHS is primarily grounded in academic work. We are independent of any religious or political agenda. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life." Our research focuses on topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, on respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not only our research topic, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not only for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.

We look for interested people, who would like to develop our WHED page. Please see our Call for Creativity.

Our HumanDHS network wishes to focus on cultural habits that strengthen dignity. The notion of human rights and its ideal of equal dignity for all calls for attention to the details of quality of life and public and personal health.

Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age
Thomas Hylland Eriksen

The book was published by Pluto Press in autumn 2001. A preview follows.

This surprising and original book argues that slow time is a main scarce resource in the information age. Parents, readers, pensioners, wage workers, executives, unionists and politicians have a common cause here.

Using a wealth of examples, the book offers an accurate and wide-ranging diagnosis of this hurried era. It shows in which ways phenomena such as soap operas, correspondence, the youth cult, advertising and "flexible work" are connected to a logic of acceleration and fragmentation, with information technology as a driving force, and how they are connected with the history of modern society.

At the same time, the book indicates that there are deep contradictions in technology-driven contemporary society. Who would have expected the time-saving technology — from the filofax to e-mail and the mobile phone — to result in time being scarcer than ever? As availability approaches one hundred per cent, the struggle now concerns the right to be unavailable, the right to live and think more slowly.

The problem is illuminated by demonstrating that there is exponential growth in everything to do with communication. Electronic media have not reduced the output of printed media. The Internet has not reduced air trafic. Fax and e-mail have not reduced the use of the telephone. On the contrary, all of this and much more is stacked in tall piles of information and activities that lead nowhere. The moment becomes so overfilled that it excludes everything else.

Tyranny of the moment depicts a culture about to become its own worst enemy; where evolution is about to turn into involution. Anyone who is familiar with the feeling that they never get important things done because there is something else they have to do first, needs this book. In order to understand their own time and their personal situation, and in order to be able do something about it.

Creating Humane Environments
Ashraf Salama

the following text is taken from Skill-Based / Knowledge-Based Architectural Pedagogies: An Argument for Creating Humane Environments
Paper given at the 7th International Conference on Humane Habitat-ICHH-05 – The International Association of Humane Habitat IAHH, Rizvi College of Architecture, Mumbai, India, January 29-31, 2005

In his manuscript, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn (1970) bases his theory of a scientific revolution on paradigms that relate to rules and some necessary specifications of common ground in the corresponding area. Along the same theory, De-Bono (1991) argues that a paradigm changes in the way we think and approach problems. Based on the concept of paradigms, four shifts or shifting attitudes about the environment can be identified (Salama, 1999 & 2002). The following is a brief discussion of these shifts.

Things versus Relations between Things
According to Capra et al. (1992), the reductionism of the old paradigm was reflected in the belief that the dynamics of the whole could be understood from the properties of the parts. But, in the new paradigm, the properties of the parts can be understood only from the dynamics of the whole. John Turner affirms this view when he argues that there are no parts at all, what we call a part is a pattern in an inseparable web of relationships. Tracing back the literature that has been developed in the
sixties, one can find that this view has been introduced by Christopher Alexander (1966) who identified three basic abilities for investigating and understanding the physical environment. These are: a) the holistic behavior of the phenomenon which we are focusing on, b) the parts within the thing and the interaction among those parts which causes the holistic behavior we have defined, and c) the way in which this interaction among these parts causes the holistic behavior defined.

Taking housing as an example, this paradigm shift can be clearer. In the old paradigm, the value of housing is assumed to be in the quantifiable attributes of dwellings, sometimes including their immediate environments. In the new paradigm, housing values lie in the relationships between the
process, the product, the users, and the social and environmental contexts. In the old paradigm, housing has been conceived in terms of what it is, rather than what it does for local populations and
the way in which people interact with built and natural environments (Turner, 1997). In this respect, one can assert that by focusing on relationships the new paradigm converts the insoluble problems
into encouragingly practical tasks and promising ends.

Economy and Ecology: Isolation versus Integration
In the new paradigm, the concept of sustainability has emerged as a reaction to environmental depletion and degradation. Many theorists are voicing the need to harmonize economy and ecology. The old paradigm has been characterized by three basic assumptions: man is more valuable than nature; man has the right to subdue and conquer nature, and has no responsibility for nature. On the other hand, in the new paradigm the concept of sustainable development is conceived to value the environment alongside economic development, and to value social equity alongside material growth.

In the new paradigm, the same technology that has been employed to conquer and subdue nature needs to be employed for the benefits of nature and, in turn, for the long-term benefit of the human race. It is believed that this characteristic of the new paradigm creates the need for mature and competent professionals. Thus, the new sustainable society will need to identify non-material means for non-material needs. In response, professional development will need to include the practice of interdisciplinary and the practice of non-technical and lifelong learning skills.

Fight versus Fit with Nature: Techno-development versus Eco-development
The difference between techno-development and eco-development is the difference between a mechanical contrivance or tool and a living organism. Technology does not make built environments; people make them. Techno-development is based on the modernist illusion of technological
determinism. It is an assault on nature. Eco-development is a package of concepts, ethics, and programs that provides designers and planners a criterion of social and ecological rationality that are different from the market logic (Sacks, 1987). It is rooted in the real need to fit human settlements within the patterns of nature. Politically, eco-development is decentralized and democratic. Socially and culturally, it reflects the diverse reality of human affairs and the tapestry of life, which makes
every portion of the built environment work well. Economically, it adopts the premise that economy and ecology are both essentially to do with the flow of energy and materials through a system and that value is a social construct.

Mechanistic Pedagogy versus Systemic Pedagogy
Based on conductive an inductive analysis of a number of studies (Schon, 1971; Ackoff, 1974; Salama, 1991 & 1995), one can find that there is a strong evidence on the paradigm shifts in education and pedagogy. Following the mechanistic paradigm, the educational process of architecture is reduced to a large number of disconnected components. Education has been decomposed into schools, curricula, grades, subjects, courses, lectures, lessons, and exercises. In this respect, one can argue that formal education has never been treated as a whole, nor is it
appropriately conceptualized as part of a process much of which takes place within society; a characteristic of the systemic paradigm.

The mechanistic orientation of pedagogy results in the treatment of students as if they were machines with the combined properties and characteristics of tape recorders, cameras, and computers. The
student is evaluated with respect to his/her ability to reproduce what he/she has been told or shown. In turn, examinations are tests of the ability to reproduce material previously presented to the examined. They are designed to serve the system’s purposes rather than the students’ needs. In the mechanistic paradigm, educators make little or almost no effort to relate the pieces of information they dispense. A course in one subject does not refer to the content of another. This reinforces the concept that knowledge is made-up of many unrelated parts. Inversely, the systemic paradigm focuses on grasping the relationships between the parts of knowledge.

In the systemic paradigm, some alternative concepts have been introduced. These are exemplified by: 1) some subjects are best learned by teaching them to oneself, 2) some subjects are best learned
by teaching them to others, 3) some skills are best learned through demonstration and instruction, and 4) some fundamentals are attained in seminar discussions guided by one specialized in the relevant area.



Please note that the entire HumanDHS website is maintained by volunteers, since its inception in 2003, and this is mainly done by Evelin Lindner. Until 2012, she usually pasted interesting news into this Links section. From July 2012 until 2017, she tagged interesting information on From 2017 onward, you see Evelin's personal list of interesting web links on Twitter:

The training manual Mental health and gender-based violence: Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict
To highlight challenges of responding adequately to mental health needs in conflicts and emergencies, Norway hosted a discussion with Dr. Nora Sveaass. Participants included ICRC, MSF, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO, in addition to states, and Dr Sveaass presented the training manual “Mental health and gender-based violence: Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict”.
See also

Dignity Therapy, by Harvey Max Chochinov
"Maintaining dignity for patients approaching death is a core principle of palliative care. Translating that principle into methods of guiding care at the end of life, however, can be a complicated and daunting task. Dignity therapy, a psychological intervention developed by Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov and his internationally lauded research group, has been designed specifically to address many of the psychological, existential, and spiritual challenges that patients and their families face as they grapple with the reality of life drawing to a close. Tested with patients with advanced illnesses in Canada, the United States, Australia, China, Scotland, England, and Denmark, dignity therapy has been shown to not only benefit patients, but their families as well," quoted from

UN Health Agency Points to ‘Solid Evidence’ Backing Its Call to Reduce Sugar Intake
4 March 2015 – New guidelines released by the United Nations health agency today recommended that adults and children worldwide reduce their daily sugar intake to boost health and stave off non-communicable diseases.
Read more here.

Why Psychiatry Holds Enormous Power in Society Despite Losing Scientific Credibility: It helps to be funded by Big Pharma
By Bruce Levine, AlterNet, January 6, 2015. We thank Salman Türken for making us aware of this article.

Die Ökonomisierung der Medizin, 2014
Wehkamp, Karl-Heinz, and Heinz Naegler (2014). Ökonomisierung der Medizin - Ursachen, Instrumente und Folgen. Bremen, Berlin, Germany: Universität Bremen – Zentrum für Sozialpolitik, Der Senator für Gesundheit der Freien Hansestadt Bremen, Symposium "Die Ökonomisierung der Medizin", 20. Juni 2014, read more.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande
Gawande, Atul (2014). Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. New York: Metropolitan Books. We thank Linda Hartling for making us aware of this book.

Dachschaden: Zwei Neurochirurginnen decken auf
By Iris Zachenhofer, and Marion Reddy (Wien, Austria, edition a, 2014).

The Men Who Made Us Fat
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

Episode 1
Published on 23 Aug 2012 Around the world, obesity levels are rising. More people are now overweight than undernourished. Two thirds of British adults are overweight and one in four of us is classified as obese. In the first of this three-part series, Jacques Peretti traces those responsible for revolutionising our eating habits, to find out how decisions made in America 40 years ago influence the way we eat now. Peretti travels to America to investigate the story of high-fructose corn syrup. The sweetener was championed in the US in the 1970s by Richard Nixon's agriculture secretary Earl Butz to make use of the excess corn grown by farmers. Cheaper and sweeter than sugar, it soon found its way into almost all processed foods and soft drinks. HFCS is not only sweeter than sugar, it also interferes with leptin, the hormone that controls appetite, so once you start eating or drinking it, you don't know when to stop. Endocrinologist Robert Lustig was one of the first to recognise the dangers of HFCS but his findings were discredited at the time. Meanwhile a US Congress report blamed fat, not sugar, for the disturbing rise in cardio-vascular disease and the food industry responded with ranges of 'low fat', 'heart healthy' products in which the fat was removed - but the substitute was yet more sugar. Meanwhile, in 1970s Britain, food manufacturers used advertising campaigns to promote the idea of snacking between meals. Outside the home, fast food chains offered clean, bright premises with tempting burgers cooked and served with a very un-British zeal and efficiency. Twenty years after the arrival of McDonalds, the number of fast food outlets in Britain had quadrupled.
See also the classic book by John S. Yudkin (1986). Pure, White and Deadly. London: Viking.
Episode 2
Published on Aug 28, 2012 Jacques Peretti investigates how the concept of 'supersizing' changed our eating habits forever. How did we - once a nation of moderate eaters - start to want more? Speaking to Mike Donahue, former McDonalds Vice President, Peretti explores the history behind the idea of supersizing. 40 years ago, McDonalds hired David Wallerstein, a former cinema manager who had introduced the idea of selling larger popcorn servings in his Chicago cinema. Wallerstein realised that people would eat more but they didn't like the idea of appearing gluttonous by going back for seconds. By increasing the portion sizes and the cost, he could sell more food. In 1972, he introduced the idea to McDonalds and their first large fries went on sale. By the 1980s, we were eating more - and eating more often. Perretti speaks with industry professionals to examine the story behind the introduction of value meals, king-size snacks and multi-buy promotions. How did the advertising industry encourage us to eat more often? The programme also explores the developments in dietary advice - by 2003, the Chief Medical Officer was warning of an 'obesity time bomb.' Peretti speaks to obesity expert Professor Philip James, who made recommendations in his 1996 report that the food industry should cease targeting children in their advertisements. He also speaks with Professor Terry Wilkin, who led a pioneering study into childhood weight gain; and former Labour MP David Hinchliffe, who chaired the 2003 Parliamentary Select Committee on Health.
Episode 3
Published on 28 Aug 2012 Jacques Peretti examines assumptions about what is and is not healthy. He also looks at how product marketing can seduce consumers into buying supposed 'healthy foods' such as muesli and juices, both of which can be high in sugar. He speaks with Simon Wright, an 'organic consultant' for Sainsbury's in the 1990s, who explains how the food industry cashed in on the public's concerns around salmonella, BSE and GM crops. By 1999 the organic industry was worth over £605M, a rise of 232% within two years. How did the mainstream food producers compete? Peretti speaks with Kath Dalmeny, former policy director at the Food Commission, who explains some of the marketing strategies used by mainstream food producers to keep our custom. The programme also explores the impact of successive government initiatives and health campaigns, such as the proposal of 'traffic light labelling', the introduction of which the food industry lobbied hard against. But in 2012, when we have an Olympic Games sponsored by McDonalds and Coca Cola, has anything changed?

Reinventing the Toilet - The Need to Build the Sanitation Industry
Presentation given by Dr. Doulaye Koné (BMGF [Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation], United States of America) at the SuSanA -- CLARA - GIZ seminar"Re-thinking sanitation from a sustainability perspective: SuSanA products and outcomes," 16th African Water Association's (AfWA's) Water and Sanitation Congress
Marrakech, Morocco, 22 February 2012, published on 20 Apr 2012.

Environmental Sanitation
Bindheshwar Pathak is an Indian sociologist. He is the founder of Sulabh International, an India-based social service organization which works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education. His work is considered one of the pioneer in social reform especially in the field of sanitation and hygiene. He received various national and international awards for his work with this organization.

Rock Creek Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility
The Rock Creek Facility, located at 3235 SW River Road in Hillsboro, Oregon, provides wastewater treatment for the City of Hillsboro, portions of Beaverton, Aloha, and unincorporated Washington County. The Rock Creek, Hillsboro and Forest Grove facilities are connected by pipeline and are integrated. This expands the operational options available to the west basin facilities.
The Rock Creek facility provides advanced treatment, including phosphorous and ammonia-nitrogen nutrient removal, and effluent filtration. Rock Creek provides Level IV effluent for irrigation water for public application. Biosolids streams from the Hillsboro and Forest Grove facilities as well as a portion of these plants' influent flow are treated at Rock Creek. Biosolids are digested, processed, and dewatered at the facility. These biosolids are then land applied.

The System Improvement Process
SIP was developed to solve any difficult large-scale social problem. This includes the "excessive humiliation problem." Systems Engineer Jack Harich invites all researchers to study SIP (in a personal message, 15th January 2013).

Empathy Lacking among Medical Students
A longitudinal study of over 450 medical students at Jefferson Medical College revealed a significant decline in empathy at the end of the third year, which persisted until graduation. The researchers found it "ironic that the erosion of empathy occurs during a time when the curriculum is shifting toward patient-care activities… when empathy is most essential."...

Mistrust Puts Pharmaceutical Industry in the Spotlight
Special Report by EurActiv, 4 October, 2012
The European healthcare system is struggling to cope with low levels of transparency and trust in the pharmaceutical sector, according to 97% of doctors, industry professionals and policymakers attending a workshop at the Gastein Health Forum yesterday...
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Right to Health
Wemos is working to create a world in which the right to health is guaranteed for every man, woman and child. A world in which the conditions for a healthy life are present and in which everyone has equal access to healthcare. A world in which governments fulfil their obligation to respect, protect and realize the right to health. This is the vision that inspires our mission..
Wemos influences international policy in such a way that the right to health is respected, protected and promoted. In doing so, we devote special attention to vulnerable sections of society. Wemos contributes to changes aimed at making structural improvements in health. We advocate:
• ethical conduct,
• coherent policy and
• equal access to care.
Overall objective:
Wemos’ objective is to draw the government’s attention to its obligation to respect, protect and realize the right to health. Taking our themes as the basis, we present practical proposals for policy improvements which will advance the health situation worldwide. Where necessary, Wemos also addresses other parties, such as companies and international institutions.
Right to health:
The right to health is expressly included in various charters and treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This means that the necessary conditions for a healthy and productive life, such as affordable care and good nutrition, should be available worldwide. Read more about the right to health.

4 Decades on, U.S. Starts Cleanup of Agent Orange in Vietnam
By Thomas Fuller, August 9, 2012
Forty years after the United States stopped spraying herbicides in the jungles of Southeast Asia in the hopes of denying cover to Vietcong fighters and North Vietnamese troops, an air base here is one of about two dozen former American sites that remain polluted with an especially toxic strain of dioxin, the chemical contaminant in Agent Orange that has been linked to cancers, birth defects and other diseases... Read more.

Hospital Chain Inquiry Cited Unnecessary Cardiac Work
By Reed Abelson and Julie Creswell, August 6, 2012
In the summer of 2010, a troubling letter reached the chief ethics officer of the hospital giant HCA, written by a former nurse at one of the company's hospitals in Florida.
In a follow-up interview, the nurse said a doctor at the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, in the small coastal city of Fort Pierce, had been performing heart procedures on patients who did not need them, putting their lives at risk...

The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine
by Bernard Lown, MD, cardiologist, inventor of the defibrillator, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and developing International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Houghton Mifflin, 1996, Ballantine Books, 1999).

The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, by Marcia Angell
See also

Flacking for Big Pharma
Drugmakers don’t just compromise doctors; they also undermine top medical journals and skew medical research.
By Harriet Washington
“Drug Makers Cut Out Goodies for Doctors” and “Drugmakers Pulling Plug on Free Pens, Mugs & Pads” read headlines in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Health Blog at the end of 2008 after, in a very public act of contrition, 38 members of the pharmaceutical industry vowed to cease bestowing on prescribing physicians goodies such as pens, mugs, and other tchotchkes branded with their names. Some physicians and ethicists had long expressed concern about the “relationship of reciprocity” that even a pizza or cheap mug can establish between doctors and drugmakers, and branded trinkets also send a message to the patient, who might reason that Gardasil must be a good drug if her doctor wields a reflex hammer inscribed with its name. But while the popular press celebrated this sudden attack of nanoconscience and while we still gravely debate whether physicians’ loyalties can really be bought for a disposable pen or a free lunch, the $310 billion pharmaceutical industry quietly buys something far more influential: the contents of medical journals and, all too often, the trajectory of medical research itself...

Public Health and Social Justice
The Public Health and Social Justice web site contains articles, slide shows, syllabi, and other documents relevant to topics in public health and social justice. References for most of the information contained in the slide shows can be found in the accompanying articles. Presentations are updated every 6-12 months.
The site is aimed at students, educators, and the general public. It grew out of my recognition that medical, and even nursing and public health, schools tend to inadequately address the social, economic, environmental, human rights, and cultural contributors to health and disease.

Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket (2009)
Their conclusion is that “bigger income differences lead to bigger social distances up and down the status hierarchy, increasing feelings of superiority and inferiority and adding to status competition and insecurity. Some of the causal links are known: the effects of chronic stress on the immune and cardiovascular system are increasingly well understood and must underpin the relationship of income inequality to health. Similarly, the reason why violence increases in more unequal societies is because inequality makes status even more important and the most common triggers to violence are loss of face, disrespect, and humiliation.”
Wilkinson and Picket write further: "Although people have often regarded inequality as divisive and socially corrosive, that did not prepare us for what we found. The frequency of all these problems was systematically related to income inequality. The bigger the income differences between rich and poor in each society, the worse these health and social problems became. And rather than things being just a bit worse in more unequal countries, they were very much worse. More unequal countries tended to have three times the level of violence, of infant mortality and mental illness; teenage birth rates were six times as high, and rates of imprisonment increased eight-fold. The sense that inequality is divisive was shown by the fact that in more unequal countries, only about 15 percent of the population feel they can trust others, compared to around two-thirds in the more equal ones. That evidence was supported by relationships with social capital and levels of violence – all showing that inequality damages the social fabric of society."

Dying For Drugs by Director Brian Woods
Documentary produced in 2003 in the United Kingdom
A powerful international investigation of the global pharmaceutical industry. Every year, many new drugs come to market which offer hope to the sick and dying. They also bring billions of pounds into the coffers of the pharmaceutical industry, making "Big Pharmacy" the most profitable and powerful business on Earth. Two years in the making, this film investigates just how far drug companies are prepared to go to get their drugs approved; what they will do to make sure they get the prices they want and what happens when profits are put before people.

Rally to Restore Sanity is Political. So Is Our, by Carol Smaldino
I find it disturbing that my own mental health field is relying too long on so-called professional neutrality and has failed to stand up for precisely the medicine (as opposed to pure pharmacology) that might help us become both saner and more holistic in our vision...
Please read the entire text on

Quality is Sacrificed in Favor of Profit Maximization: Paralysed Man Brain Damaged After Nurse Accidentally Switches Off His Life Support
UK 25 Oct 2010
A paralysed man being cared for in his home in Wiltshire, UK, was left brain-damaged after an agency nurse working for the NHS allegedly switched off his ventilator by mistake. The incident, which occurred in January 2009, was caught on a bedside camera that 37-year old tetraplegic Jamie Merret had arranged to be installed only days before, because he was worried about the care he was receiving, according to a BBC News report. The footage on the BBC website, accompanied by Health Correspondent Matthew Hill's narrative, shows the nurse, Violeta Aylward, switching off Merret's ventilator, and Merret, who is apparently aware of what has happened, trying to attract attention by clicking with his tongue. It shows Aylward calling for help from a carer while she tries to fit an "Ambu bag" to Merret to help him breathe, but she is fitting it incorrectly, explains Hill, adding that it took 14 minutes for paramedics to arrive and then fit the hand-held pressure ventilator correctly to the hole in his neck. Merret's life support was off for 21 minutes before being restarted by the paramedics. But by then the damage to the brain was already done, said the BBC report...
Please read the entire article at

The Marketing of Madness
The Marketing of Madness is the documentary on the psychiatric drugging industry. Here is the story of the high income partnership between psychiatry and drug companies that has created an $80 billion psychotropic drug profit centre. But appearances are deceiving. How valid are psychiatrists’ diagnoses – and how safe are their drugs? Digging deep beneath the corporate veneer, this three-part documentary exposes the truth behind the slick marketing schemes and scientific deceit that conceal dangerous and often deadly sales campaigns. In this film you’ll discover that… Many of the drugs side effects may actually make your ‘mental illness’ worse. Psychiatric drugs can induce aggression or depression. Some psychotropic drugs prescribed to children are more addictive than cocaine. Psychiatric diagnoses appears to be based on dubious science. Of the 297 mental disorders contained with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, none can be objectively measured by pathological tests. Mental illness symptoms within this manual are arbitrarily assigned by a subjective voting system in a psychiatric panel. It is estimated that 100 million people globally use psychotropic drugs. The Marketing of Madness exposes the insanity in our psychiatric ‘health care’ system: profit-driven drug marketing at the expense of human rights. This film plunges into an industry corrupted by corporate greed and delivers a shocking warning from courageous experts who value public health over dollar.

Health And Human Rights Info (hhri)
Health and Human Rights Info aims at making professional experiences and resources more easily accessible to health professionals working with people exposed to human rights abuses, armed conflict, forced migration and other human rights violations. A wide range of important material such as guidelines, manuals, intervention programs and tools for assessment and intervention has been developed over the years. Much of this is already available on the internet, while some material has not been accessible until now. However this material represents highly valuable information in the daily work with survivors of human rights violations, displacement, violence and disasters.

WHO Swine Flu Experts 'Linked' with Drug Companies
Key scientists behind World Health Organization advice on stockpiling of pandemic flu drugs had financial ties with companies which stood to profit, an investigation has found... On its website, WHO says: "Potential conflicts of interest are inherent in any relationship between a normative and health development agency, like WHO, and a profit-driven industry...

Gay Asian Men 'Denied HIV Care'
Some 90% of gay men in the Asia-Pacific region are denied access to HIV/Aids help because of discriminatory laws in many states, a UN-backed report says. Almost half the region's countries criminalise gay male sex and the report says this is worsening a situation in which infection rates are climbing. Repressive laws "often take on the force of vigilantism", it argues. Governments were urged to reform legal systems and policing to ensure an effective response to the crisis. The report, produced jointly by the UN Development Programme and the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health, noted that several countries including Nepal, India, the Philippines and South Korea had brought in new laws and policies to address the problem...

'Long-Term Harm' of Toddlers' TV
The more TV a toddler watches, the higher the likelihood they will do badly at school and have poor health at the age of 10, researchers warn. The study of 1,300 children by Michigan and Montreal universities found negative effects on older children rose with every hour of toddler TV. Performance at school was worse, while consumption of junk foods was higher. UK experts said parents could allow young children to watch "some" high quality TV.

Korea 'Web Neglect' Couple Tried
A South Korean couple have gone on trial charged with allowing their baby daughter to starve to death while they played an online computer game. Prosecutors said they fed the baby once a day and left her alone for hours while they visited internet cafes...

Adviser Resigns over Mephedrone
A government adviser has quit the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs over the criminalisation of mephedrone. Eric Carlin said ministers had pledged to ban the drug so as to appear "acting tough" in the run-up to the election. Mr Carlin is the seventh member of the body to resign following the sacking of former chairman Professor David Nutt. The council has recommended that the substance, linked to at least four UK deaths, and other so-called "legal highs" be classified as Class-B drugs. Young people Mr Carlin, 47, a former chairman of the English Drug Education Forum, told the BBC he was "extremely unhappy" at the way the council arrived at its decision earlier this week. Earlier, in his resignation letter, he said was increasingly disillusioned with the lack of attention paid by politicians and the media to drug prevention and early intervention among young people. Mr Carlin also criticised the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs's (ACMD) "apparent lack of interest in the subject". In his letter to Home Secretary Alan Johnson, Mr Carlin wrote: "We had little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young people's behaviour. He added: "As well as being extremely unhappy with how the ACMD operates, I am not prepared to continue to be part of a body which, as its main activity, works to facilitate the potential criminalisation of increasing numbers of young people." Speaking later to the BBC, he criticised the way the Home Office addressed drugs as a criminal justice issue, rather than a public health or social impact issue...
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Social Care 'Levy for Everyone'
By Nick Triggle Health reporter, BBC News
A compulsory levy should be introduced to fund a universal social care system for adults in England, Labour says. It said the move would represent the biggest shake-up in the welfare state since the creation of the NHS and end the "cruel lottery" currently in place. But ministers refused to be drawn on how much and when people should pay, saying a commission would be set up to look at this if they win the election. Such a charge is opposed by the Tories, who have dubbed it a death tax. The subject is now likely to become a key issue during the election campaign. Funding options The current system for providing support to the elderly and people with disabilities is means-tested. So if Labour's plan for a National Care Service were introduced - and this would not happen until after the lifetime of the next parliament - it will be the first time everybody has been entitled to state support for a residential care place or home help. The intervention comes after councils have been struggling to cope with rising demand, mainly fuelled by the ageing population...
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Call for Better Therapy Treatment
By Maddy Savage BBC News Some 65% of doctors say they can "rarely" offer psychological therapy to depression sufferers within two months of referral, a study suggests. The Royal College of GPs survey of 590 UK doctors also found 15% said access to psychological services was only "usually" possible in that timeframe. The survey is part of a campaign by mental health charity Mind calling for better access to therapies... "Waiting months and months for urgent treatment would not be acceptable for patients with other health problems, and it should not be acceptable for patients with depression."...
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CircleBath: Hospital of the Future
One of Britain's most famous architects, Lord Foster, has built his first hospital, Circle Bath near Bath. Rather than a traditional hospital design, it feels like a hotel, with sky lights and art decorating the walls. It is hoped that the pleasurable surrounding will increase patients' well-being and help them get better faster...
See more at

Hospital Left Patients 'Sobbing'
By Nick Triggle Health reporter, BBC News
Hospital patients were left "sobbing and humiliated" by uncaring staff, an investigation into one of the worst NHS scandals in history has found. The independent inquiry claimed the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust had become driven by targets and cost-cutting. The report - the latest in a long line of critical reviews - said the distress and suffering had been "unimaginable". Last year it was reported there were at least 400 more deaths than expected at the trust from 2005 to 2008. But the relatives of patients treated there said many questions still remained unanswered. In particular, they want a public inquiry into how the scandal could have happened, including the role of the wider NHS in the case...

Backless Hospital Gowns Get a Makeover to Preserve Patients' Dignity
Backless hospital gown redesigned
By Michelle Roberts
Health reporter, BBC News
The traditional draughty and backless hospital gown is getting a Hollywood-style makeover by one of the world's top designers.... Dignified: He said his design means patients can have their modesty covered but still allow medics immediate access through clever "entrance points" in the gown....
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Complication Risk for Older Mums
UK scientists have produced further evidence to suggest delaying becoming a mother may be risky...The research was based on an analysis of data on 3,739 first-time mothers.... Previous studies have also shown that the risk of a medically-assisted delivery increases with a woman's age at the time of her first birth... Scientists suspect that a woman's body is designed to have children shortly after becoming fertile. In evolutionary terms, a long gap between puberty and childbirth was not desirable as life expectancy among our ancestors was short...
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Depression 'Cuts Cancer Survival'
Depression can damage a cancer patient's chances of survival, a review of research suggests. The University of British Columbia team said the finding emphasised the need to screen cancer patients carefully for signs of psychological distress. The study, a review of 26 separate studies including 9,417 patients, features in the journal Cancer. It found death rates were up to 25% higher in patients showing symptoms of depression....

Low Self-esteem Leads to Obesity
Children with self-esteem problems are more likely to be obese as adults, a research team has found. A study of 6,500 participants in the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study found that 10-year-olds with lower self esteem tended to be fatter as adults. The effect was particularly true for girls, researchers from King's College London reported. One obesity expert said the results highlighted that early intervention was key to tackling obesity...

No Change in Health Gap from 1900
The link between poverty and early death is as strong today as it was a century ago, a study shows. Despite major changes in the causes of death since the 1900s, the association between deprivation and mortality remains "firmly entrenched", it found. It is possible that the health effects of poverty have passed through the generations, wrote Dr Ian Gregory in the British Medical Journal. One public health expert said inequalities may have even got worse. “ The extent to which the association remained was surprising ” Dr Gregory, a senior lecturer at the University of Lancaster, looked at census and mortality data from England and Wales from the 1900s and compared that with data from 2001...

Toxic Insect Repellents
Scientists have expressed safety concerns about insect repellents that contain Deet after observing the chemical's toxic effects in mammals...

Many People in the UK Are Unable to Identify the Location of Their Major Organs
Many people in the UK are unable to identify the location of their major organs, a study suggests. A team at King's College London found public understanding of basic anatomy has not improved since a similar survey was conducted 40 years ago. Less than 50% of the more than 700 people surveyed could correctly place the heart, BMC Family Practice says. Under one-third could place the lungs in their correct location, but more than 85% got the intestines right...
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Concerns Over Older Mother Trend
By Branwen Jeffreys Health correspondent
BBC News
An urgent public debate on the trend for women to delay motherhood is needed, leading doctors say. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will publish evidence on Monday about the increased medical risks of pregnancy for older mothers...
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Chemical Cocktail Rrisk to Boys'
Chemicals may disrupt male development in the womb Chemicals found in many food, cosmetic and cleaning products pose a real threat to male fertility, a leading scientist has warned....

Babies to Get New Growth Charts
By Nick Triggle, Health reporter
New child growth charts are being introduced to combat obesity and boost breastfeeding rates. The UK still uses charts from 1990 which are based on growth rates for formula-fed babies which grow quicker. The charts, which are being introduced in England with the other nations expected to follow soon, will mean more children are classed as overweight. But the government hopes it will help to reassure mothers who breastfeed that their babies are not under weight. Guidelines suggest mothers should give their babies breast milk for the first six months of life and then supplement that with food for a further six months...

1970s Lifestyle 'Protects Planet'
Getting back to the relatively slim, trim days of the 1970s would help to tackle climate change, researchers say. The rising numbers of people who are overweight and obese in the UK means the nation uses 19% more food than 40 years ago, a study suggests. That could equate to an extra 60 mega-tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the team calculated. Transport costs of a fatter population were also included in the International Journal of Epidemiology study. Dr Phil Edwards, study leader and researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said they had set out to calculate what the UK energy consumption would be if the weight of the population was put back a few decades...
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Cancer Risk 'Not Changing Habits'
Professor Karol Sikora, medical director of CancerPartnersUK, said the poll showed how people contradict themselves. "They want more information, but when they get it they don't do anything about it. "It's very difficult for governments, whatever their politics are, to tread the fine line between a nanny state and telling people what they need to know." He said innovative approaches that were directly relevant to people's lives could be more effective. "It's amazing how much of a difference Jade Goody made to cervical screening. "It may be the way to get through to people, through people they really respect or identify with, rather than the standard, rather boring and dry advice people get now." More to be done Richard Evans, of the World Cancer Research Fund, said: "Research has shown that about 40% of people do not know that things like diet and body fat are linked to cancer. "But scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers in the UK could be prevented by eating healthily, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. "This is why we need to do more to get across the positive message that by making healthy choices today, people can reduce their risk of developing cancer later in life." Dawn Primarolo, the public health minister for England, said government policies had contributed to a fall in smoking rates. The Change4Life campaign aimed to get people eating more healthily and taking more exercise, and measures were also in place to try to cut excessive drinking. Ms Primarolo said: "Healthy living should not be underestimated - and it's never too late to change." ...
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Gap in Care 'Has to Be Bridged'
By Nick Triggle
Health reporter, BBC News
The gap between health and social care must be bridged, the head of England's new super regulator says. Cynthia Bower, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, acknowledged there were "pinch points" in areas such as hospital discharge arrangements. But she said the new regulator would be looking to drive up standards, starting with a review into healthcare available to care home residents. Campaigners said the focus on such issues was long overdue. Charities representing the elderly and people with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, have been extremely vocal about vulnerable people falling between the gaps...
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Clean Living Way to Beat Cancer
Over 40% of breast and bowel cancer cases in rich countries are preventable through diet, physical activity and weight control alone, experts say. Simple measures like cycling to work and swapping fatty foods for fruit can make all the difference for these and many other cancers, they say. Globally, each year there are millions of these preventable cancer cases, the World Cancer Research Fund estimates. Its report makes recommendations for "clean living" policies. “ After not smoking, it is clear that diet, physical activity and weight are the most important things people can do to reduce their cancer risk ” Professor Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for Cancer...
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Rates of Diabetes Soar in the UK
The UK is seeing an explosion of diabetes linked to growing obesity rates, experts are warning. From 1997 to 2003 there was a 74% rise in new cases of diabetes. And by 2005, more than 4% of the population was classed as having diabetes - nearly double the rate of 10 years earlier. The bulk of cases are type 2 diabetes -which is linked to being overweight or obese - the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reports. “This research is a sad indictment of the current state of the UK's health,” Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK...

Food Needs 'Fundamental Rethink'
By Mark Kinver
Science and environment reporter, BBC News
A sustainable global food system in the 21st Century needs to be built on a series of "new fundamentals", according to a leading food expert. Tim Lang warned that the current system, designed in the 1940s, was showing "structural failures", such as "astronomic" environmental costs. The new approach needed to address key fundamentals like biodiversity, energy, water and urbanisation, he added. Professor Lang is a member of the UK government's newly formed Food Council. "Essentially, what we are dealing with at the moment is a food system that was laid down in the 1940s," he told BBC News. "It followed on from the dust bowl in the US, the collapse of food production in Europe and starvation in Asia. "At the time, there was clear evidence showing that there was a mismatch between producers and the need of consumers." ...Professor Lang lists a series of "new fundamentals", which he outlined during a speech he made as the president-elect of charity Garden Organic, which will shape future food production, including:
Oil and energy: "We have an entirely oil-based food economy, and yet oil is running out. The impact of that on agriculture is one of the drivers of the volatility in the world food commodity markets."
Water scarcity: "One of the key things that I have been pushing is to get the UK government to start auditing food by water," Professor Lang said, adding that 50% of the UK's vegetables are imported, many from water-stressed nations.
Biodiversity: "Biodiversity must not just be protected, it must be replaced and enhanced; but that is going to require a very different way growing food and using the land."
Urbanisation: "Probably the most important thing within the social sphere. More people now live in towns than in the countryside. In which case, where do they get their food?"
Professor Lang said that in order to feed a projected nine billion people by 2050, policymakers and scientists face a fundamental challenge: how can food systems work with the planet and biodiversity, rather than raiding and pillaging it?...
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Aidmatrix is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit headquartered in Dallas, Texas, USA, with offices in Germany and India. The Aidmatrix Foundation, Inc. builds and operates powerful technology hubs that support diverse stakeholder groups in their efforts to work together to solve the world’s most challenging humanitarian crises. More than 35,000 leading corporate, nonprofit and government partners leverage our solutions to mobilize more than $1.5 billion in aid annually, worldwide, including Feeding America (aka America's Second Harvest), the National Association of Free Clinics, International Federation of the Red Cross and many more. The donated goods, money and services impact the lives of more than 65 million people...
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Health and Human Rights Info
Health and Human Rights Info makes practical information and material on mental health and human rights more available. Our aim is to give you access to organisations, publications, guidelines and manuals regarding the effects of human rights violations on mental health in the contexts of violence, conflict and disaster on individual as well as community level. This website contains a database with links to selected materials, divided into three categories and thematic pages. Health and Human Rights Info is a project initiated by the International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) . and funded by the Norwegian NGO Mental Health Project.

Center for Global Initiatives
The Center for Global Initiatives (CGI) is the first Center devoted to training multidisciplinary healthcare professionals and students to bring integrated services that are sustainable and have publicly accountable outcomes to areas of need, globally. The word “global,” it is not used herein as a synonym for overseas or international, but rather local as well as transnational disparities and inequities of health risk and illness outcomes.

"Survival" is a landmark documentary series made for BBC World News. It is the focus of one of the most thorough global health seasons undertaken by any broadcaster for international audiences. Each documentary can be viewed on-line as soon as the BBC transmits it. Every page here tells you more about people, places and how the films were made...
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Fish Farming in Malawi's Dustbowl
By James Morgan
Environment reporter, BBC News
This seems an unlikely place to go fishing for your dinner. The dusty scrublands of Zomba West have been brittle dry since April, when the rainy season ended. The place is spookily deserted today - the funeral of the local chief. In the marketplace, we find only one stall open, run by children. And all they are selling is fish. "When we first started fish farming - people thought it was mad - they told us it will never work here," says Esther Fikira...
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Western Diet 'Raises Heart Risk'
Swapping fried and salty foods for fruit and veg could cut the global incidence of heart attacks by a third, a study of eating habits suggests. Researchers analysed the diet of 16,000 people in 52 countries and identified three global eating patterns, Circulation journal reports. The typical Western diet, high in fat, salt and meat, accounted for about 30% of heart attack risk in any population. A "prudent" diet high in fruit and veg lowered heart risk by a third.
... Ellen Mason, a cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study shows that it doesn?t matter whether you live in Bolton or Bombay, or whether you like to eat British, African Caribbean or Asian foods. "The vital thing is to reduce your intake of salty, fried, fatty food to a minimum but increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat"...
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The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)
In 2003, seven organisations from around the world joined forces to establish DNDi: five public sector institutions – the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation from Brazil, the Indian Council for Medical Research, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia and France’s Pasteur Institute; one humanitarian organisation, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF); and one international research organisation, the UNDP/World Bank/WHO’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), which acts as a permanent observer to the initiative. For 30 years, MSF has directly witnessed the human cost of the lack of drugs for neglected diseases and has raised its voice against this inequity; the Pasteur Institute invests heavily in biological research on infectious diseases; TDR works on 10 neglected infectious diseases that affect poor and marginalized populations; the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation dedicates its resources to medical R&D; the Indian Council for Medical Research sponsors and coordinates medical research in India; and the Malaysian Ministry of Health is dedicated to building partnerships for health. The DNDi became a legal entity in July 2003. Collaborative mode of operation:
The initiative fosters collaboration both amongst developing countries and between developing and developed countries. Its design is a blend of centralized management to give it a clear project-specific focus, and decentralized operations that mimic modern drug companies. DNDi doesn’t conduct research and scientific work to develop drugs itself. Instead, it capitalizes on existing, fragmented R&D capacity, especially in the developing world, and complements it with additional expertise as needed. This “virtual organization” model helps cut costs.

Billions 'Wasted' by Aid System
Billions of dollars will be wasted unless there is a radical overhaul of the system of giving aid, a report from a leading aid agency warns. Care International says too much money is being spent on short-term fixes during emergencies, rather than on longer-term prevention work. The number of people living "on the edge of emergency" has nearly doubled to 220 million in two years, Care says. The report comes ahead of a high-level UN meeting on poverty goals next week. Halving poverty and hunger around the world by 2015 are key objectives of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDG)...
Please read more at, and download the report from

Shops Get Fruit and Veg Sale Help
Corner shops in deprived areas of England are to be given money to help boost sales of fruit and vegetables...
Please read the entire article at

Drug3k - Online Drug Encycloped
Consumers and medical practitioners face increasingly complex choices about the prescription drugs they use and prescribe. Direct-to-consumer advertising; changes in prescription drug benefits; the rising cost of prescription drugs; and discount programs available for Medicare recipients are causing significant confusion among consumers and clinicians.
In this shifting environment, consumers need to become more-informed purchasers of prescription drugs and prescribers need decision-support tools to ensure that prescriptions are written with an understanding of the evidence on available treatments - including pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions.
The Project aims to provide evidence-based, easily accessible information on most commonly prescribed drugs , includes links to detailed product monograph(Prescription Drug Information, Side Effects, Interactions,Drug pictures) to help clinicians and patients select the best drug or treatment.

Australia Abandons Asylum Policy
The new Australian government has abandoned the country's controversial policy of jailing all asylum seekers. In a major overhaul of immigration rules, the policy of detaining would-be asylum seekers in often remote jails will now be used only as a last resort. Children will no longer be held, and adults who are detained will have their situation evaluated every three months. Immigration Minister Chris Evans called the decision a move towards "more humane" treatment of asylum seekers. Human rights groups welcomed the announcement. Amnesty International called the reforms a "welcome step forward" that would bring Australia's system "into line with other Western democracies".
'Human dignity':
The strict policy of detaining asylum seekers and visitors who overstayed their visas was brought in by a former Labor government in the 1990s. But it was its hard-line enforcement by conservative leader John Howard that drew criticism from rights groups and the United Nations.
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World Trade Talks End in Collapse
Marathon talks in Geneva aimed at liberalising global trade have collapsed, the head of the World Trade Organisation has said. Pascal Lamy confirmed the failure, which officials have blamed on China, India and the US failing to agree on import rules. EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said the result was "heartbreaking". The talks were launched in 2001 in Doha and were seen as providing a cornerstone for future global trade. The main stumbling block was farm import rules, which allow countries to protect poor farmers by imposing a tariff on certain goods in the event of a drop in prices or a surge in imports. India, China and the US could not agree on the tariff threshold for such an event...
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Sulston Argues for Open Medicine
By Matt McGrath
BBC science correspondent
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has hit out at what he terms the "moral corruption" of the medical industry. Britain's Sir John Sulston says that profits are taking precedence over the needs of patients, particularly in the developing world. He was speaking at the launch of a new research institute into science, ethics and innovation. Sir John shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for medicine for his work on the genetics controlling cell division. He is well known for his commitment to public medicine and his opposition to the privatisation of scientific information. Eight years ago he led the fight to keep the data being derived from the Human Genome Project open and free to any scientist who wanted to use it.
'Fair access': He says there is now great concern among researchers about private companies patenting genes and genetic tests. He is also concerned about the misuse of information, and what he terms "disease mongering". He is taking these concerns over the direction that science and medicine are going in, onto a broader stage. Sir John is to be the chairman of a new UK-based institute that will research the ethical questions raised by science and innovation. He wants the group to try to provide ground rules and guidance on issues such as the patenting of genes, and how people in developing countries have fair access to medicines. Sir John believes that our current systems place the needs of shareholders ahead of the needs of patients.
Treaty requirement: The Nobel Laureate told the BBC: "Some people would say it is not corrupt because it is not illegal, and that is true; but I consider that advertising a medicine that doesn't make clear any disadvantages of the medicine, or, in fact, the fact that most people don't need this particular medicine - I would cite, for example, anti-depressants which are hugely oversold, especially in America. This is the sort of thing I mean by corruption. It's not legal corruption; it's moral corruption." According to Sir John, the world is at a crisis point in terms of getting medicines to sick people, particularly in the developing world. He says that the world needs an international biomedical treaty to iron out issues over patents and intellectual property. Sir John is setting up the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation with the bioethicist John Harris. The institute is staging a one-day conference on Saturday called Who Owns Science? Story from BBC NEWS:

Hospital Alcohol Admissions Soar
Hospital admissions linked to alcohol use have more than doubled in England since 1995, an NHS report shows. Alcohol was the main or secondary cause of 207,800 NHS admissions in 2006/7, compared to 93,500 in 1995/96. There has also been a 20% rise in the number of GP prescriptions for treating alcohol dependency in the past four years, the NHS Information Centre said. The British Liver Trust warned that the health impact of alcohol would only get worse in years to come. Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, agreed that alcohol was placing an ever-increasing burden on the NHS. We are talking about a younger age group, drinking sometimes huge quantities, which can be damaging (Dr Varuna Aluvihare, liver specialist at Kings College Hospital)...
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Call for Junk Food Ad Clampdown
Junk food advertising makes it difficult to feed children a healthy diet, a consumer survey suggests. Which? found 83% of those polled believed irresponsible marketing was making it harder to encourage children to eat well. And most of the 2,000 questioned want the government to do more to control the marketing of unhealthy food to children.
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Global Food System 'Must Change'
The global agriculture system will have to change radically if the world is to avoid future environmental and social problems, a report has warned. The study, commissioned by the UN and World Bank, concluded that while recent advances had increased food production, the benefits were spread unevenly. It said that 850 million people were still not getting enough food to eat. The authors added that food prices would remain volatile as a result of rising populations and biofuel growth...
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France Targets Anorexia in Media
The French National Assembly has passed a groundbreaking bill which seeks to criminalise the promotion in the media of extreme thinness.
The bill targets pro-anorexia websites and publications that encourage girls and young women to starve themselves.
It will affect websites, fashion houses, magazines and advertisers.
If approved by France's upper house, those found to have encouraged severe weight loss could be fined up to 45,000 euros and face three years in prison.
French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said the proposed law would help stop advice on how to become ultra-thin being spread through pro-anorexia sites on the internet.
"Encouraging young girls to lie to their doctors, advising them on foods that are easier to regurgitate and inciting them to beat themselves up each time they eat is not freedom of expression," Ms Bachelot told the assembly...
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People Missing Five-a-Day Target
Many people still do not manage to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but they now have more than before, a survey suggests.
The Food Standards Agency survey suggests diets are slowly improving but people from poorer backgrounds struggle to achieve the five-a-day target...
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Obesity 'Requires Climate Plan'
By Helen Briggs
Science reporter, BBC News, Boston
Obesity needs to be tackled in the same way as climate change, a top nutritional scientist has said. The chairman of the International Obesity Taskforce wants world leaders to agree a global pact to ensure that everyone is fed healthy food...
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Scared Sacred by Velcrow Ripper
Patricia Wong Hall wrote (13th January 2008): Hi everyone -- I just saw a film called "Scared Sacred," by Velcrow Ripper. He traveled around the world to Bosnia, Japan (Hiroshima), India (Bhopal), Cambodia (Pol Pot), New York (9/11 site), Pakistan, Palestine, and other countries. He documented and interviewed people who have been traumatized by war, violence, and tragedies. Many of the people have been transforming their suffering. Some have done so through song (a rabbi in Israel), art (the Bejovics, artists in Bosnia). I especially liked his interview with the Bejovics, who created art everyday, amidst all of the violence around them--not knowing if they would be alive tomorrow. This was a wonderful film on transforming crisis; on forgiveness, genocide, war and compassion. The Dalai Lama spoke briefly in this film on creating unity in our communities.
After the film, we were shown a clip of an exercise to transform suffering into joy through Tibetan Buddhist tonglen meditation. In the background were misty scenes of fog traveling through Zen gardens. The filmmaker was the narrator. Those of you who wish to continue, please read on..... The exercise involved sitting with eyes open or closed, while picturing the face of someone you know who is suffering. Then imagine dark, hot and heavy black smoke pouring out of his or her mouth (her/his suffering) as you inhale; take this black, heavy smoke (suffering) into your heart and then immediately transform it into bright, cool, white light as you exhale -- it is fresh and light, as you send compassion, love, forgiveness, and kindness back to this person. Do not hold on to the suffering, let it go immediately, turning the black smoke into a white light of compassion. Continue to do this for five minutes or so, as you inhale and exhale.
Next, picture the face of someone that you have an aversion to; repeat the exercise above. Think of all of the suffering this person is experiencing in life. Breathe in the black, heavy smoke (his/her suffering) into your heart as you inhale; then transform it into a cool, white light as you exhale -- sending him or her compassion, forgiveness, love and respect. Do not hold on to the suffering -- let it go. Continue to do this for the next five minutes or so. Breathe in black smoke -- breathe out cool, white light.
Next, form a picture in your mind of yourself. Think of all of the suffering you are experiencing now in life. Breathe in the black, hot, and heavy smoke of your suffering into your heart as you inhale. Then transform this black smoke immediately into a cool, white light as you exhale, sending yourself love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness and respect. Let go... Continue to inhale and exhale in this way for five minutes as you transform your suffering into compassion for yourself.
Lastly, do this exercise for everyone on earth. Imagine all of the people who are suffering on this earth. Inhale and breathe in their pain as a heavy, hot, black smoke. Take it into your heart. Do not hold on to the suffering. Transform it immediately, as you exhale, into a cool, white light that you send out to the world to heal the planet. Continue to inhale and exhale in this way for five minutes. When you are ready, bring your awareness back to the place you are in, as you slowly open your eyelids.
One of my favorite books is called "Practicing Peace in Times of War," by Pema Chodron (on tonglen practice). Wishing you peace and joy. -- Risha

Institute for OneWorld Health
The Institute for OneWorld Health is a Nonprofit pharmaceutical company.

Mental Health 'Costs UK Billions'
By Adam Brimelow
BBC News, Health Correspondent
Mental health problems cost British businesses an average of £1,000 a year for every employee, researchers say. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health said the overall annual cost to employers, including time off work and lost productivity, is nearly £26bn...
Please read the entire article at

The Mailman School of Public Health
The Mailman School of Public Health's ground-breaking initiatives have improved the health of millions of people in resource limited settings around the world. The Mailman School has developed models for the scale-up of global HIV/AIDS comprehensive care and treatment. The Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD), which improves the availability, quality, and utilization of emergency obstetric care in developing countries, was launched in 1999 with a $50 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-the largest private foundation grant in Columbia University history. A leader in infectious disease research, the School's Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory acts in both a coordinating and research capacity to diagnose, contain, and treat emerging viral diseases such as SARS. The Mailman School and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia's Earth Institute have been collaborating in Araihazar, Bangladesh, since 2000 to develop preventive strategies and treatments for arsenic poisoning for those exposed to the toxin through contaminated well water.

Tribal People at Risk of Extinction from Diabetes
Read the Survival's report, Progress can kill, at

The Sleep-Industrial Complex
The New York Times, November 18, 2007, page 56-61: The Sleep-Industrial Complex
by Jon Mooallam
Please read on

Segmented Sleep
Segmented sleep or divided sleep are modern Western terms for a polyphasic sleep pattern found in medieval and early modern Europe and many modern non-industrial societies, where the night's sleep is evenly divided by a few hours of wakefulness.
Please read more, for example at

The Anthroposophical/Rudolf Steiner Movement
Einar Strumse explains (22nd October 2007): "The anthroposophical view of human nature [...] is very benign in relation to the mentally retarded. This is because it includes a spiritual view of human nature, assuming that at the spiritual level all are equally valuable, so there is no difference between mentally retarded and "normal" people, it is just that the former have certain challenges at the physical / material level which needs to be dealt with while maintaining the basic dignity of the mentally retarded person, who also is a great teacher for those who take the challenge to work with them."

Obesity 'Not Individuals' Fault'
Individuals can no longer be held responsible for obesity and government must act to stop Britain "sleepwalking" into a crisis, a report has concluded. The largest ever UK study into obesity, backed by government and compiled by 250 experts, said excess weight was now the norm in our "obesogenic" society.
Read the entire article at

Fatty Liver Is Going to Be One of the Tragedies of the Future Unless We Do Something About It
A diet rich in potatoes, white bread and white rice may be contributing to a "silent epidemic" of a dangerous liver condition.
"High-glycaemic" foods - rapidly digested by the body - could be causing "fatty liver", increasing the risk of serious illness.
Please read the entire article at

Behavior OnLine
Behavior OnLine is a gathering place for professionals in mental health and the applied social and behavioral sciences. At this time all Behavior OnLine services and features are provided without charge and access is open to all who are interested. In the future BOL intends to charge for some of its services and to restrict access to some of them. Behavior OnLine aims to be as inclusive as possible---few things are more frustrating than being excluded from a discussion to which one can contribute. Yet few things are more inhibiting than concern about being overheard in a discussion one believed was private.

International Mental Health Professionals of Japan (IMHPJ
IMHPJ is a multidisciplinary professional association of therapists who provide mental health services to the international communities in Japan. Founded in 1997, IMHPJ's goals are to improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of mental health services available to the international communities in Japan.

The Nightingale Declaration Campaign (NDC)
The Nightingale Declaration Campaign (NDC) - a programme of the Nightingage Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) - has been created to follow in these footsteps.
Please read about the NDC mission:
"We are rallying nurses, health professionals and other concerned citizens — 21st Century Nightingales -- to effectively network globally while also acting locally -- to make a collective difference in our time. We are beginning with a big vision for millions of nurses and other concerned citizens - from all 192 member states of the United Nations - to sign a personal commitment - and to join with many many others - to create a healthy world. We are collectively taking these commitments to tell our leaders - locally, regionally, nationally and globally - that a healthy world must be our first priority. Today, people in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Oceania, and all of the Americas commemorate the difference Nightingale made. Across the earth and in her footsteps, we can together make our difference in our time. We are a pro-active and vocal conscience for the health of humanity. We are calling this nursing. The health of our world may well depend on this."

PILOTS: An Electronic Index to the Traumatic Stress Literature
The PILOTS database is an electronic index to the worldwide literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health consequences of exposure to traumatic events. It is produced by the National Center for PTSD, and is available to the public on computer systems maintained by Dartmouth College. There is no charge for using the database, and no account or password is required. As of August 2006 there were 30,290 references (almost all including abstracts) in the database.

Child 'Adult Mental Care' Scandal
By Alison Holt
Social Affairs correspondent, BBC News
Treating children in adult psychiatric wards is a "national scandal", says the Children's Commissioner for England. Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green told the BBC he fears children leave in a poorer condition than when they went in. A report to be published next week by the charity Young Minds warns there are not enough emergency beds for children with mental health problems. Almost 1,000 under-18s spend time on an adult ward in a year, with more than half of those admissions inappropriate...
Please read the entire article at

Inquiry into Prison Care of Young
By Alison Holt
BBC News, Social affairs correspondent
The Home Office has agreed to an independent inquiry into the treatment of young people with mental health problems in the prison system. The BBC has learned the investigation will concentrate on the case of one young girl. She was taken to hospital 20 times in two years after self harming whilst in young offenders institutes. The girl - who can't be named - was jailed when she was 17 for assault and robbery. She had been in care and had a history of mental health problems. But despite continually cutting herself and trying to take her own life in prison, it took a court injunction to get her moved to a secure psychiatric hospital...
Please read the entire article at

Broken Home Linked to Psychosis
People from broken homes may be more prone to psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, research suggests. Researchers said their findings suggest the illnesses are not simply brain diseases, but linked to factors such as social adversity. They found much higher rates among black people, who were also more likely to come from broken homes. The study, by London's Institute of Psychiatry, will appear in the journal Psychological Medicine. These findings suggest social factors can also contribute to the onset of illness...
Please read the entire article at

Innovation, Advancement, and Best Practices To Achieve Global Goals
Unite For Sight's Fourth Annual International Health Conference
April 14-15, 2007 - Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA

Diabetes 'Hitting Poor Hardest'
Britain's poorest communities are 2.5 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than the general population, research suggests. They are also 3.5 times more likely to develop serious complications of diabetes, including heart disease. The report, by the charity Diabetes UK and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, calls for action to tackle social inequalities. But the government said much had already been done. It will take a huge shift in both attitudes and services to reverse this pattern for future generations.
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Diabetes 'Threat' to Indigenous
Diabetes could threaten the existence of indigenous peoples around the world, experts have warned. Scientists meeting at a diabetes conference in Melbourne heard such tribes faced extinction this century unless obesity was tackled. Western diets and sedentary lifestyles are leading to obesity and a rise in Type 2 diabetes in Asia, the Pacific, Australia and the Americas. But experts say if urgent action is taken, the trend could be reversed. Without urgent action there certainly is a real risk of a major wipe-out of indigenous communities, if not total extinction, within this century.
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Rich Areas' Poor in Deaths Link
The death rates of poor people who live in rich neighbourhoods in the US are higher than those who live in disadvantaged areas, a study says. Researchers studied 8,200 people for 17 years across California, the American Journal of Public Health reported. The Stanford University Medical Center team said the likely cause was rich areas drained people's resources and had a negative psychological effect. Experts said it showed the polarised nature of US society....
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Global Health and Social Justice Conference: “Violence as Disease”
Thursday, March 29 - Friday, March 30, 2007
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA