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Wei X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zou G.,University of Leeds | Zhang H.,China National Center for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control | Li R.,China National Center for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control | And 9 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: In 2004, the Ministry of Health issued the policy of decentralising microscopy services (MCs) to one third of all township hospitals in China. The study was conducted in Gansu Province, a poor western one in China. Ganzhou was one county in Gansu Province. Ganzhou County was identified as a unique case of further decentralisation of tuberculosis (TB) treatment services in township hospitals. The study evaluated the impact of the MC policy on providers and patients in Gansu Province. The second objective was to assess the unique case of Ganzhou County compared with other counties in the province. Methods. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. All 523 MCs in the province completed an institutional survey regarding their performance. Four counties were selected for in-depth investigation, where 169 TB suspects were randomly selected from the MC and county TB dispensary registers for questionnaire surveys. Informant interviews were conducted with 38 health staff at the township and county levels in the four counties. Results: Gansu established MCs in 39% of its township hospitals. From January 2006 to June 2007, 8% of MCs identified more than 10 TB sputum smear positive patients while 54% did not find any. MCs identified 1546 TB sputum smear positive patients, accounting for 9% of the total in the province. The throughputs of MCs in Ganzhou County were eight times of those in other counties. Interviews identified several barriers to implement the MC policy, such as inadequate health financing, low laboratory capacity, lack of human resources, poor treatment and management capacities, and lack of supervisions from county TB dispensaries. Conclusion: Microscopy centre throughputs were generally low in Gansu Province, and the contribution of MCs to TB case detection was insignificant taking account the number of MCs established. As a unique case of full decentralisation of TB service, Ganzhou County presented better results. However, standards and quality of TB care needed to be improved. The MC policy needs to be reviewed in light of evidence from this study. © 2011 Wei et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Au W.W.,Shantou University | Su D.,Shantou University | Yuan J.,China Center for Disease Control
Reviews on Environmental Health | Year: 2012

Throughout the world, cigarette smoking is a habit that causes serious health, economic, and social problems. Therefore, many countries have taken an active role to control and to ban smoking. The chronic smoking problem in China is particularly acute because China has the largest population of smokers in the world, over 300 million currently. If 30 of these smokers were to die of smoke-related diseases in the next 20 years, the impact from the more than 90 million premature deaths could be damaging to China. In addition, numerous non-smokers also experience health problems from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. China's efforts to reduce or to ban smoking in certain public places have not been well-coordinated or enforced compared with those in other countries. Therefore, success has been minimal. Consequently, leaders in China should not be complacent about combating the serious national health problem. A multiprong approach in combination with the MPOWER policy from the World Health Organization that targets different levels of acquisition of the smoking habit must be used. Examples may include the government's reduced reliance on profits from the sale of cigarettes, the elimination of advertisements that encourage smoking among young individuals, the presentation of more graphic illustration of harmful effects from smoking on every pack of cigarettes, higher taxes/prices on cigarettes, and the implementation of enforceable bans on smoking in public places. As shown in other countries, such coordinated effort can be highly effective in the reduction of smoking and can have healthy consequences. © 2012 by Walter de Gruyter. Source


Atkinson J.H.,University of California at San Diego | Jin H.,University of California at San Diego | Shi C.,Peking University | Yu X.,Peking University | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2011

Background: China's HIV epidemic commenced in its agrarian provinces through contaminated commercial plasma donation centers and is now becoming a public health concern nationwide. Little is known of the psychiatric and substance use disorder characteristics of this population, or their impact on everyday function, employment, and life quality. Methods: HIV-infected (HIV+) former plasma donors (N = 203) and HIV-negative (HIV-) donor controls (N = 198) completed the World Mental Health Survey Composite International Diagnostic Interview to determine lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD), substance use disorders, and suicidality. Current mood and suicidality were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory-II. Everyday function was measured by an Activity of Daily Living questionnaire; life quality was evaluated by the Medical Outcomes Study - HIV. Results: HIV+ participants had known their infected status for 2 years on average. Most were taking antiretroviral treatment and had frank AIDS. Rates of current MDD were similar across groups (1-2%), but HIV+ had a higher frequency of lifetime MDD (14% vs. 5%, p < .05). Its onset preceded date of known infection in one-third of cases. Alcoholism was the only substance use disorder detected; HIV+ had a higher proportion of lifetime substance use diagnoses (14% vs. 6%, p < .05). Depression and AIDS independently predicted worse daily functioning and life quality, and unemployment. Limitations: The epicenter of China HIV has moved into urban injection drug users, limiting the representativeness of this sample. Conclusions: High rates of MDD and its impact suggest that in China, as elsewhere, comprehensive care requires detection and treatment of mood disorder. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


News Article | January 27, 2015
Site: www.bloomberg.com

Dubai ended London Heathrow airport’s decades of dominance as the world’s top international air hub last year, buoyed by surging passenger numbers at local carrier Emirates with its record-breaking fleet of wide-body jets. Dubai International Airport boosted passenger numbers 6.1 percent to 70.5 million in 2014, almost all of them traveling to or from locations outside the United Arab Emirates, according to a statement today. That took it past Heathrow, which attracted 68.09 million international travelers in 2014. Dubai has used its location at a geographical crossroads between Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to establish itself as a base for inter-continental transfer flights, with Emirates already the world’s No. 1 carrier by international traffic. The sheikhdom is building a new hub at Al Maktoum airport which could one day handle 240 million passengers, just as growth at Heathrow is stymied by the constraints of its two runways and political wrangling over whether to add a third. “We’re planning to overtake ourselves,” Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, which owns both bases, told Bloomberg Television, adding that the bigger challenge may be to carry on growing volumes while providing “the level of service on the ground that passengers on Emirates experience in the air.” Emirates has transformed Dubai’s role in the aviation industry with the world’s biggest twin-aisle fleet, built around orders for 140 Airbus Group NV A380 superjumbos. Still, runway repairs clipped Dubai International’s capacity by about one-quarter for 80 days last summer, limiting expansion to the extent that the airport failed to overtake Heathrow’s overall tally of 73.4 million passengers, including 5.3 million who traveled on domestic flights. That should be rectified this year, Griffiths said in an interview, with an anticipated passenger total of 79 million eclipsing Europe’s busiest airport by all metrics. The opening of Concourse D later this year will lift Dubai International’s capacity to 90 million people, allowing for further growth before the main expansion of the Al Maktoum site. Measured by total customers, the two hubs continue to lag behind Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, home base to Delta Air Lines Inc., which recorded 96.2 million travelers in the 12 months through November, based on the latest figures on its website, and Beijing Capital, which lured 86.1 million in 2014. The U.S. and Chinese airports get most passengers from domestic flights. Heathrow, where British Airways is based, ranked third in the world behind Atlanta and Beijing in 2013, according to Airports Council International, with Dubai seventh after Tokyo Haneda, Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles International. ACI has yet to publish a full set of data for 2014. At Dubai’s neighbor Abu Dhabi International airport, home base to Etihad Airways, the third-biggest Gulf carrier, passenger numbers rose 20 percent last year to 20 million, with a total of 24 million projected for 2015.


News Article | August 25, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

Fresh air is missing as a core part of life in areas of China. Instead, air that creates illness and hastens death is dominant. China is not alone in terms of air pollution and water pollution. (See this story or this one on the EU and this one on the US, for example.) As a case of how bad it can get, however, China is a frightening example. The problems with air pollution in China are actually global problems, as it spreads across countries and even oceans. School children wear or need to wear masks. Fashionably masked women incorporate masks into their wardrobes. For years, the World Health Organization showed an air-quality score of particulate matter in China well above levels deemed safe. A new study calls for immediate attention. “The 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), found that despite efforts to limit future emissions, the number of premature deaths linked to air pollution will climb over the next two decades unless more aggressive targets are set.” Specifics came to light in Special Report 20, Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Major Sources of Air Pollution in China. It is “the first comprehensive assessment of the current and predicted burdens of disease attributable to coal-burning and other major sources of particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) in China at the national and provincial levels.” It was supported and initiated by the Global Burden of Disease – Major Air Pollution Sources (GDB MAPS) project, an international collaboration of Tsinghua University, the Health Effects Institute, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the University of British Columbia. “The GBD is the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide,” said Zhou Maigeng, Deputy Director of the National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention of the China Center for Disease Control. Maigeng is the lead author of the GBD 2013 Chinese analysis published in the British medical journal The Lancet in October 2015. Maigeng points out, “Based on Chinese data, we found that outdoor air pollution was the 5th leading cause of premature death in China in 2013.” Business Green notes, “Under each scenario average PM 2.5 levels are expected to fall as clean technologies become more widespread. But the report also warns the impact on public health could still worsen over the coming decade.” Photo by leniners (some rights reserved) and charts via Burden Of Disease From Coal-Burning and Other Air Pollution Sources in China Small Increase In Energy Investment Could Save 3 Million Lives From Air Pollution In 2040 Road Traffic Pollution Is Significant Cause Of Childhood Asthma, Research Finds   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

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