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Government Of Canada Supports Initiative To Provide More French-Speaking Health Professionals

On behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Mr. Greg Kerr, Member of Parliament for West Nova, announced today an important investment that will help Francophone students at the Universit√ Sainte-Anne pursue opportunities in the health care field. This initiative is expected to increase the number of health care professionals who can serve French-speaking communities. "The Universit√ Sainte-Anne is the only French-speaking post-secondary institution in the province, " said Mr. Kerr. "It also plays an important role in the socioeconomic development of the Acadian society in Nova Scotia. With this announcement of nearly $2 million in funding, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to improving access to health care for our official language minority communities.

Senate Approves Appropriations Package, Obama Expected To Sign

After the Senate approved a House-passed spending package worth almost $450 billion on Sunday, the legislation, which "includes annual foreign aid packages, " will go to President Barack Obama, Agence France-Presse reports. Obama is expected to sign the legislation (12/13). "The measure passed 57 to 35, largely along party lines, although three Democrats - Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Russ Feingold (Wis.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) - voted with Republicans against the bill, " according to Roll Call (Brady 12/13). The Washington Post's "Capitol Briefing" blog writes: "The measure also carries thousands of earmarks and double-digit spending increases for many programs, prompting Republicans to attack Democrats' priorities.

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Pandemic Toolkit Offers Flu With A View

As communities brace for rising wintertime influenza cases, scientists are developing a mathematical and visual analytic toolkit to help health officials quickly analyze pandemics and craft better response strategies. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a Pandemic Influenza Planning Tool to model the spread of a disease through various age groups and geographic populations. It also allows decision-makers to carefully assess the benefit of their decisions for different scenarios in advance. "No single approach provides an optimal strategy when battling the spread of a pandemic, " said Robert Brigantic, PNNL operations research scientist, "But, the use of this tool can allow health officials to more accurately predict how a disease might evolve when various mitigation strategies are applied.

NBC News Examines 'Fastest Growing' Vector-Borne Disease: Dengue

Dengue is the "fastest growing" vector-borne disease worldwide, NBC News' "World Blog" writes in a story examining the disease. "It used to be contained largely to south-east Asia, but has been spreading, and is now found in South America, Africa, south Asia and parts of Australia. It recently turned up in Nepal, and last month returned to Florida for the first time in 50 years. Increasingly scientists are blaming climate change, supported by Malaysia's ground-breaking research [at Kuala Lumpur's Institute of Medical Research]. 'Dengue will be a global problem in terms of health, ' said Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, the World Health Organization's South-East Asia Director.

A Selection Of Today's Opinions And Editorials

Can We Afford It? The New York Times We understand why Americans may be skittish, but the argument is at best disingenuous and at worst a flat misrepresentation. Over the next two decades, the pending bills would actually reduce deficits by a small amount and reforms in how medical care is delivered and paid for - begun now on a small scale - could significantly reduce future deficits (12/12). We Need Long-Term Care Option The Richmond Times-Dispatch Late last week, the Senate barely defeated an effort by powerful special interests to remove the CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) Act from the final health reform bill.

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Health Effects Of Low-Intensity Warfare

For nearly two decades, Ivy Pike, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, has been studying ethnic groups in rural northern Kenya to understand how violence shapes the health of those eking out a living there. The results of her and her colleagues' research, " Documenting the health consequences of endemic warfare in three pastoralist communities of northern Kenya: A conceptual framework, " is currently published in a special edition of Social Science and Medicine, in collaboration with the British medical journal The Lancet and the Journal of the Danish Medical Association. These studies also set the stage for Global Response 2010, an international conference on violent conflict and health worldwide.

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