Disability and Asian Health News 20 Oct 2008

Ian C. Langtree Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2008/10/20 - Updated: 2010/01/17
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Seven health issues were identified by the Ministers of Health of the ASEAN member-states and the Peoples Republic of China.


Round up of Asian health and disability news for 20 October 2008 including coming events.

Main Digest

Seven health issues were identified by the Ministers of Health of the ASEAN member-states and the People's Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea and recognized the need to mount a regional initiative that would bring together health, trade and other relevant policy-makers and stakeholders in the region to discuss and develop consultative and inclusive multi-sectoral approaches for integration of healthcare into development agenda. The Health Ministers recognized that the current trend of increasing movement of qualified and competent health professionals may lead to shortage of human health resource in the originating countries, putting at risk the less privileged communities.

The Federal government has stated that efforts are underway for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and its optional protocol which the country is already a signatory to. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Mr Ayo Olukanni" made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York. He was speaking on Nigeria's position on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit on Social Development at the UN Third Committee meeting.

Japan - The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed two plaintiffs' appeals demanding the director of the Social Insurance Agency overturn the agency's decision to deny them disability pensions. The two men, one, 48, from Ome, western Tokyo, and the other, 40, from Itabashi Ward, Tokyo, were both diagnosed with schizophrenia when they were in their 20s. Their appeal claimed it was illegal for the government to refuse to provide them with basic disability benefits based on the ruling that people who do not receive treatment for a disease before they turn 20 years old do not qualify for the pension. Presiding Justice Yuki Furuta dismissed the appeal, saying, "They don't meet the requirements to receive pensions."

Japan - About 3 million people aged 75 or older had their health insurance premiums automatically deducted from their pension benefits for the first time Wednesday under the controversial medical system for seniors that has increasingly become a hot political topic. The medical insurance program has outraged many seniors both because of the automatic deduction of premiums from their pension benefits and also because of what they claim is the system's discriminatory nature, which isolates them simply because they are older and visit doctors more often. Prime Minister Taro Aso repeated his call Wednesday for a review of the system, and said the government hopes to conduct the review and offer new proposals within a year.

PUBLIC awareness of people with disabilities is too low, experts say. And too many people still think a disability is something to be ashamed of. "While public attitudes to the disabled have evolved somewhat over the years, we can't say it's much of an improvement," said U Tha Uke, the managing director of the Eden Handicapped Service Center in Yangon's Insein township. One of the reasons for the lack of awareness is the shortage of information about people with disabilities, including books about the situation, he said.

China - The Communist Party of China (CPC) issued a policy document on Sunday urging for the improved social welfare enjoyed by the country's 900 million rural population. The Decision on Major Issues Concerning the Advancement of Rural Reform and Development was approved by the CPC Central Committee on Oct. 12 in a plenary session. The document urged for further cultural development in the country's rural areas, quoting that "rural cultural development is of great importance to building a new socialist countryside." It demanded TV, radio and movies be more accessible in the rural areas, and more community cultural centers to be set up in the villages along with countryside libraries. In addition, efforts must be made to ensure all farmers can enjoy basic medicare service by sticking to the rural cooperative medical system, the document said. It demanded every county and township should have its own medical institution, while villages in the rural areas were also encouraged to set up medical stations to provide "safe and inexpensive medical service" to farmers. Endemic diseases, infectious diseases and disease that affects both human beings and livestock must be closely guarded against, with the focus on prevention of such illness. The one-child policy must be adhered to in the countryside to retain a low birth rate in the rural areas, and to deal with a disproportional sex ratio.

Japan - The trial of an obstetrician of a Fukushima prefectural hospital, where a 29-year-old woman died of blood loss during a Cesarean operation in December 2004, serves as a reminder that doctors' efforts to save lives sometimes lead to death. As the level of medical treatment advances and becomes more complex, the risk of medical accidents is rising. The Fukushima District Court ruled in August that the doctor, who is with the prefectural Ono Hospital in the town of Okuma, was not guilty of professional negligence leading to death. The doctor had discovered that the placenta was firmly attached to the uterus "an extremely rare case that occurs in about one of every 10,000 deliveries. The blood loss resulted when he tried to detach the placenta from the uterus. The court acquitted him, saying he followed standard procedure. The prosecution eventually decided not to appeal the ruling probably because it believed it could not support its arguments with enough clinical data.

Coming Events

Disability & Rehabilitation team of World Health Organization (WHO/DAR) in collaboration with other WHO departments, other UN organizations, international and national federations and NGOs, is organizing the Asia Pacific Congress on Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) in Bangkok (Thailand) from 9 to 11 December 2008.

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