Health and population

A disproportionately greater HIV burden exists in sex workers than in the general population. This article examines the relationship between the impact of sex-work legislation and HIV prevalence in sex workers in 27 European countries, using an ecological regression analysis. The studied role of legalising some aspects of sex work, through fair enforcement, will inform and help improve sexual health across countries as part of SDGs 3.3 & 5.6.

Materials Today, Volume 20, Issue 2, 2017, Pages 67-73

In 2013 alone nearly 50 million tons of e-waste was generated worldwide. The United Nations’ STEP initiative has reported that e-waste is expected to grow by 33% over the next 4 years and by 2030 obsolete computer waste will reach 1,000 million tons. This electronic waste often contain toxic substances and nearly 80–85% of electronic products are directly disposed of in landfills or incinerators. The researchers suggest a new technique where circuit boards from electronics can be crushed into nanodust by a cryo-mill. The dust can then be easily separated into its component elements for recycling. The researchers intend it to replace the current process of e-waste into landfills and advances SDG 12.
Nanotechnology provides an emerging potent alternate mode of cancer therapy. The study emphasizes the synthesis of defect-rich hierarchical microspheres of PEGylated MoS2 nanosheets and h-MoO3 nanorods using a sustainable chemical route. This study also investigates their cytotoxicity towards lung and breast cancer cell lines. The authors noticed that defect-rich hierarchical microspheres of PEGylated MoS2 nanosheets and h-MoO3have better cytotoxicity toward breast (MCF-7) and lung (A549) cancer cells, respectively. These findings will further strengthen nanomaterials role for advancement in cancer therapy and contribute to SDG 3.

The Lancet, Volume 389, Issue 10070, 675–677

A study by Hong Chen and colleagues concludes that living close to heavy traffic is associated with a higher incidence of dementia. The research covered almost the entire adult population in Ontario, Canada with a lagged exposure of 10 years, statistically assessing the associations between traffic road proximity and incident dementia, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. This study helps to advance SDG 3 and in particular advancing knowledge for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks, target 3.D.
In 2014, the authors of this Comment published a call to action in The Lancet to eliminate violence against women, a goal that has since been included in global policy under the SDG 5 of increasing women’s empowerment and gender equality. Here, the same authors ask what progress has since been made, highlighting the WHO’s Global Plan of Action to strengthen health systems’ response to interpersonal violence. Increased political engagement will be necessary to sustain encouraging trends of decreasing violence and to achieve the SDG 5 target during an era when women’s rights remain at risk.
Worldwide, the majority of women who die from breast or cervical cancer live in low-income and middle-income countries. Although proven and cost-effective interventions are available, incidence and related mortality from these cancers in some low-resource settings are increasing. In this first paper of the Lancet Series on health, equity, and women’s cancers, authors outline the consequences of these global inequities in cancer survival for women. The Series seeks to provide an advocacy and action framework for radically improving progress toward closing this global cancer divide.
This Article extends the theory of so-called “neighbourhood effects” to explain the health of people living in slums; authors note that although densely populated neighbourhoods can promote the spread of disease, they can also amplify the benefits of interventions because beneficial effects are shared across many people. This neighbourhood effect is likely to offer increasing returns to investments to create a healthy environment and should be capitalised on to achieve SDG 3. The paper identifies how slums should be included in censuses to identify local priorities for action.
This article addresses the health needs of slum residents, who are at an increased risk of developing mental health problems, non-communicable diseases, malnutrition, infectious diseases, and injuries due to violence. Children are especially vulnerable, as malnutrition can lead to stunted growth and impaired cognitive development. Slum health is under-represented in the scientific literature, despite an estimated doubling of slum populations by 2030, from today’s figure of 1 billion. Addressing the health-care needs of people living in slums will be vital to achieving SDG 3 and is related to SDG 1.
China’s successful health efforts have resulted in achieving the Millennium Development Goal 4 – to reduce under-5 mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. This article examines the trends in the under-5 mortality rates, and the specific causes of mortality within regions of China. Policy addressing the SDG 3.2 goal of reducing child mortality, should focus on addressing the disparities between regions, as well as the prevention of the greatest causes of child mortality.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is a leading cause of cancer-related death in Africa, yet its epidemiology is not well described throughout African countries. This study reports the clinical characteristics and survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in African countries. As a part of SDG 3, this study also describes the state of hepatocellular carcinoma management across African countries, which could inform health policymaking for reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases.