It’s been an amazing first week of blogging. Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you’ll tune in again next week!
On Fridays, I’ll post a (very subjective) roundup of some of the week’s most interesting US and international health news stories relating to women. Without further ado:
In domestic news:
- The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women who are at regular to low risk for ovarian cancer do not get screened with ultrasounds and blood tests. Turns out that there’s a fairly high false-positive rate, leading to unnecessary surgery and its associated complications.
- Addressing the health concerns of female veterans is increasingly important. It’s difficult for servicewomen and veterans to obtain health care and benefits related to sexual violence they endured while in uniform. And the percentage of PTSD claims approvals for sexual trauma are almost twenty percent less than claims for other kinds of trauma. In related news, Patricia Hayes is leading an initiative to make the male-dominated VA medical system more responsive to women. By next year, she expects comprehensive primary care to be available for women at all VA medical facilities.
- Senators Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced a Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act, which would protect the rights of pregnant workers to do such radical things as take additional breaks, drink water and/or eat on the job, and work while sitting down.
In global health news:
- Nigeria is trying to hire 9,000 nurses and midwives as part of an initiative to reduce maternal mortality. It’s a big goal, will they be able to do it?
- Speaking of healthcare workers, US, Europe and Japan have long relied on Fillipino doctors and nurses to support their health systems. But as more jobs become available in the Phillipines, a growing number of healthcare workers who had planned to go abroad are staying home, leaving a gap in healthcare workers in developed countries. In the U.S. 27 percent of doctors and 5 percent of nurses are from other countries. The problem is even more pronounced in Japan.
- Doctors in Botswana have started using a a vinegar swab to detect cervical cancer instead of more costly pap tests. It’s an example of using low-tech interventions to save lives.
Have a great weekend, thanks for reading!