World
British PM faces pressure over sugar tax
British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing pressure to reverse his opposition to a sugar tax after the publication of a report that mooted a 10-20 percent levy to deal with childhood obesity, the media said on Friday.
 
The prime minister faced calls to at least consider a tax on high-sugar products after it emerged that he had not yet read the report called "Sugar Reduction: The Evidence for Action" by Public Health England that was controversially delayed by his Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, The Guardian reported.
 
"Consuming too many foods and drinks high in sugar can lead to weight gain and related health problems, as well as tooth decay. Almost 25 percent of adults, 10 percent of four- to five-year-olds and 19 percent of 10- to 11-year-olds in England are obese, with significant numbers also being overweight," the report said.
 
Downing Street confirmed that the government is looking at other measures recommended in the report, including a cr
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Cuban HB vaccine undergoes trials in eight countries
A new Cuban vaccine for hepatitis B is undergoing clinical trials in seven Asian countries apart from Cuba, the media reported on Friday.
 
The seven countries are Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, China, the Philippines and Thailand, Xinhua quoted Iris Lugo, a specialist from the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), which developed the vaccine, as saying on Thursday.
 
The vaccine, HeberNasvac, prevents the progression of the disease or keeps it under control for a longer time, causes fewer adverse reactions, according to the CIGB. The treatment period is shorter, not exceeding 20 weeks.
 
Moreover, clinical trials have shown that the vaccine has greater antiviral efficacy than other applied conventional drugs.
 
Within a few months, Lugo said, the drug is expected to obtain the sanitary registration granted by the Centre for State Control of Drugs and Medical Devices, allowing it to be used in Cuba in 2016.
 
The scientist said some foreign companies have shown interest in its marketing, including French company Abivax, which has involved with the development of the new vaccine.
 
According to the World Health Organization, about one million people die each year from diseases related to the hepatitis B virus, which also continues to be the main risk factor for liver cancer and other serious complications, including esophageal varices.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India has one of highest rates of antibiotic resistance
India has one of the highest rates of antibiotic resistance in the world, said a recent report, stressing on limiting the use of antibiotics through improved water, sanitation and immunisation.
 
Titled 'The State of World Antibiotics 2015', the study conducted by Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), New Delhi, also shows that in 2010, India was the largest consumer of antibiotics ahead of China and the US.
 
"MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) resistance rates have remained high in India. Carbapenem resistance has been increasing overtime. Overall, India has one of the highest rates of antibiotic resistance in the world," Ramanan Laxminarayan, director, CDDEP, and a lead author of the study told IANS on Thursday.
 
MRSA is a common pathogen responsible for skin and soft tissue infections, severe bloodstream infections, and pneumonia. Carbapenems are considered last-resort antibiotics, used for infections that are resistant to first-, second- and even third-line antibiotics.
 
The countries consuming the most antibiotics overall in 2010 were India (13 billion Standard Unit (SU)), China (10 billion SU) and the US, (7 billion SU), according to the study.
 
In terms of human use of antibiotics, the report said the highest rates of increase are in middle-income countries, particularly the BRICS, a trend that is likely to continue as incomes continue to rise.
 
"BRICS had the greatest upsurge in antibiotic use from 2000 through 2010:68 percent in Brazil, 19 percent in Russia, 66 percent in India, 37 percent in China, and 219 percent in South Africa," the report said.
 
Explaining the trends further, Laxminarayan said the increased demand for animal protein and resulting intensification of food animal production is leading to greater use of antibiotics in agriculture, again driving resistance.
 
"In India, the use of antibiotics in pre-mixed feed for livestock is going up a lot. We are not even aware that antibiotics are going inside our system. The strategy would be to stop use of antibiotics in the pre-mixed feed," Laxminarayan, also associated with Public Health Foundation of India, elaborated.
 
Though the Indian Council of Medical Research began setting up the Anti-Microbial Resistance Surveillance Network in 2011, Laxminarayan said surveillance alone is not enough. The key is preventing intake of antibiotics in cases where they are not needed.
 
"The first step would be to not purchase antibiotics over the counter without a doctor's prescription. Doctors should also exercise caution while prescribing them," he said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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