Health

Child refugees to return to Nauru

Scott Morrison says child refugees relocated from Nauru to Australia for medical attention will be sent back to the offshore processing centre. Richard Ferguson The Australian The Australian reported earlier this month that the Prime Minister plans to transfer all children off Nauru by the end of the year. Mr Morrison said there are only 30 children on the island now. But he said this morning that those remaining 30 children will be left on the island unless they need medical help ... Read More »

Study finds ‘huge’ fall in FGM rates among African girls

Rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) have fallen dramatically among girls in Africa in the last two decades, according to new research. BBC The study, published in BMJ Global Health, cited a “huge and significant decline” among under-14s. The practice involves removing all or part of a girl or woman’s external genitalia, including the clitoris. Some societies treat it as a rite of passage, but human rights groups say it is inhumane and physically dangerous. In the worst cases, victims ... Read More »

What mass shootings do to those not shot: Social consequences of mass gun violence

Mass shootings seem to have become a sad new normal in the American life. They happen too often, and in very unexpected places. Concerts, movie theaters, places of worship, schools, bars and restaurants are no longer secure from gun violence. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation Often, and especially when a person who is not a minority or Muslim perpetrates a mass shooting, mental health is raised as a real concern or, critics say, a diversion from the real issue easy access ... Read More »

A cure for cancer: how to kill a killer

Revolutionary work on the body’s immune system and a host of new drug trials mean that beating cancer may be achievable Charles Graeber The Guardian Last month, the Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for two breakthrough scientific discoveries heralded as having “revolutionised cancer treatment”, and “fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed”. One of them went to a charismatic, harmonica-playing Texan named Jim Allison for his breakthrough advances in cancer immunotherapy. His discovery had resulted in transformative outcomes for ... Read More »

The autistic teenager making video games to show players what Asperger’s is really like

A young, autistic game developer has showcased his innovative new project at Australia’s largest gaming convention, as part of an exhibit putting diversity centre-stage. ABC Central West By Donal Sheil Inspired by his experiences living with autism, Bradley Hennessey’s experimental game, An Aspie Life allows players to experience life with Asperger’s. In addition to entertainment, Mr Hennessey said the power of video games to enhance empathy with others is undervalued. “Really, games can do anything,” he said. “It’s the player. ... Read More »

Whatever you think of Packer, he was brave to talk about depression

The photograph was so disturbing, the first time I viewed it, I had to look away, as I felt as though I was intruding on someone’s deepest personal pain. Wendy Squires Brisbane Times The picture showed James Packer at the Crown Resorts Annual General Meeting in Melbourne in 2016, looking bloated and overweight, his eyes red and watery and seeming to scream “help!”. His pallor was an angry red; his gait that of a whipped dog temporarily let off its ... Read More »

NDIS funds to be ‘repurposed’ for drought relief under Morrison plan

Disability advocates have slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to “repurpose” $3.9 billion originally set aside for the NDIS to pay for drought relief, but the plan has been cautiously welcomed by… Dana McCauley The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Morrison unveiled his $5 billion Drought Future Fund at a summit attended by farmers, economists, industry bodies and state and federal ministers in Canberra on Friday, promising measures to drought-proof the… The first $3.9 billion of the scheme, which would operate ... Read More »

After the royal commission, how will the aged care industry respond?

A recent US survey found that three out of every four people said they would like to live to be 100, if they could do so in good health. Julie Hare The Mandarin Yet the same number of people said they ate too much, didn’t exercise enough and were likely to retire at the age of 65. This growing collision between longevity, chronic health conditions and aged care services reflects a familiar narrative and one that is driving new thinking ... Read More »

Cannabis in Canada: Shortages, fines and Girl Guide cookies

As Canada became the second country to legalise marijuana on Wednesday, some areas faced their first major challenge as supply failed to meet demand. BBC Customers queued for hours. Some retailers sold out on the first day, and shortages continued on Thursday. Online shoppers also faced delays as the new law came into effect, with high volumes affecting websites. Customers were warned to expect shipping delays of up to five days, as a postal strike looms next week. But the ... Read More »

Asylum seeker families leave Nauru

Multiple asylum seeker families have left Nauru and flown to Australia for medical treatment as pressure builds on Scott Morrison to get children off the island. Angus Livingston msn aap Refugee advocates confirmed three families left the Pacific nation on Monday, while another three families left on Tuesday, and two more on Wednesday. The prime minister has been under pressure from his own backbench to get asylum seekers off Nauru, as doctors say they are mentally “shattered” after years in ... Read More »

Australia’s chief medical officer on Nauru deported amid health policy crisis

The chief medical officer contracted by the Australian government to look after the health of refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru is being deported from the island. Michael Koziol with Dana McCauley The Sydney Morning Herald Fairfax Media has confirmed with government sources that senior doctor Nicole Montana will be placed on a flight to Australia later on Wednesday and replaced. Other sources suggested Dr Montana was arrested by Nauruan authorities on Tuesday but it was not clear why. In ... Read More »

Yemen on brink of ‘world’s worst famine in 100 years’ if war continues

UN warns that famine could overwhelm country in next three months, with 13 million people at risk of starvation. Hannah Summers The Guardian Yemen could be facing the worst famine in 100 years if airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition are not halted, the UN has warned. If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. She told ... Read More »

Viral letter to PM shows the people are united

The Prime Minister’s rejection of the Australian Medical Association’s call for the transfer of the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families off Nauru has been swift but it hasn’t deterred us. Dr Sara Townend Brisbane Times Now, just over two weeks later, more than 5600 doctors and medical students from around the country say they agree. They’ve signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A letter we felt compelled to write because the situation on ... Read More »

‘I feel like an empty shell’: the patients left behind when MSF had to quit Nauru

MSF says five years of ‘indefinite limbo’ endured by refugees and asylum seekers has led to a radical deterioration in mental health Helen Davidson and Saba Vasefi The Guardian On Thursday Médecins Sans Frontières took a rare step in front of the microphone and publicly criticised the Australian government, demanding an end to its offshore processing policy. Six days earlier its team of mental health workers had been forced by the Nauru government to abruptly stop work and leave the ... Read More »

Inside torture and trauma counselling sessions on Christmas Island

For three years from 2011, social worker Poh Lin Lee worked as a trauma counsellor for the Christmas Island Torture and Trauma Service. RN – By Teresa Tan ABC She offered therapy and support to detained asylum seekers referred from the nearby detention centre, which closed this month. At her lowest, most conflicted moments she wondered who she was providing the care for. “It might be enough for someone to get through the next week or the next day, but for ... Read More »

UN: ‘health crisis’ demands closure of Australia’s offshore detention centres

Government bears responsibility because it designed and paid for the systems in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, says UNHCR Naaman Zhou The Guardian The United Nations has called on Australia to immediately evacuate its offshore detention centres to prevent an unfolding health crisis. Doctors from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were ejected from Nauru on Wednesday and the UN high commissioner for refugees has warned that many asylum seekers who have attempted self-harm or have critical health issues now have no access ... Read More »