Welcome to Medical Channel Asia’s regular segment, the weekly Asian medical news bulletin. Each week, we will bring you essential medical news from within the region to keep you up-to-day on the healthcare industry.
This week, we look at HIV as World Aids Day is commemorated, the world’s eight billion population and a measles outbreak.
The Philippines has recorded its lowest rate of fertility in five decades as the world’s 8th billion people were recorded in Manila. Baby Vinice Mabansag was honoured on November 15 after her birth as the globe’s 8th billion people. This is despite the Philippines dealing with a declining fertility rate, with its sharpest decline in the last five years. The current rate is 1.9, which is below the replacement level and the 3rd lowest in Southeast Asia after Singapore (1.1) and Thailand (1.57).
The families of victims who died or were injured after consuming tainted cough syrup have now sued the government and merchants involved. The class action lawsuit alleged that there has been no accountability and is demanding the parties involved to be held responsible.
The opening of two new polyclinics, in Khatib and Sembawang, has been pushed back a year. Delays are also expected for the new National Skin Centre (NSC) and the integrated Jurong Polyclinic and nursing home project. These were announced in parliament this week.
In conjunction with World Aids Day, the Ministry of Health has reported that the number of HIV cases has reduced by 14% from 2021.
Changi General Hospital is innovating with AI algorithms to predict patient deterioration to help save the time of nurses and allow nurses to spend more time on care and other critical duties.
Thailand has detected the country’s first case of the COVID-19 Omicron XBC variant, Deltacron. It was detected by the Thai Medical Services Department, and the patient has since recovered. The government is urging people to protect themselves from COVID-19 amid the rise in infections and the return of foreign visitors.
The Malaysia Health Ministry has announced that HIV infection rates have dropped 70% over the last 20 years. In the statement by Health deputy director-general (public health) Datuk Dr Norhayati Rusli, she stated that the decline and the treatment coverage is still insufficient to fully eliminate AIDS by 2030, and that test-and-treat strategy would continue to be strengthened and enhanced by introducing HIV self-testing for detection.
The health ministry is currently mulling a ban on new-generation tobacco products such as vape cigarettes, announced at a conference this week. This comes amid the rising usage of such products among students in the country. The current law does not have provisions to deal with such products at the moment.
A measles outbreak in India has led to the deaths of 13 children. 233 cases have been reported since the outbreak started, and officials have blamed the outbreak on the lack of vaccination due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health ministry has advised an additional vaccine dose for people in vulnerable areas.