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Science, Technology
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Issue 70: Not as depressing as we thought

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Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments in healthcare. image Not as depressing as we thought **Trigger warning: The following passage contains mention of suicide Epidemics have historically been linked to mental health disorders and increased suicide rates. As the COVID-19 pandemic loomed in 2020, it is no surprise that the Australian Medical Association (AMA) had issued a warning on mental health in May last year. One year down the road, have more people actually acted on suicidal thoughts? The short answer is, surprisingly no. According to a study by Lancet Psychiatry, suicide figures during the pandemic were either unchanged or lower compared with the pre-pandemic period in 21 countries studied, after adjusting for seasonality and long-term trend in each country. Weighted by population, the average declines were 7% relative to expectations and 11% compared with 2019. What is the reason behind the lack of increase in suicide rates? The Economist quoted governments’ fiscal support as an instrumental factor that alleviated “a cause of stress that could, in the worst cases, lead to suicide”. While it may be too early to conclude that the pandemic has not led to more suicides at all, two things are clear: governments’ intervention and assistance are crucial in preserving the population’s mental well-being; and policymakers should remain vigilant and be poised to respond should the longer-term mental health consequences of the pandemic unfold. Healthcare in the Spotlight The Straits Times: Novavax COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in US trial The study, which involved nearly 30,000 people in the US and Mexico, showed the shot was highly effective against COVID-19 and also protected against variants. The Economist: A new weapon in the war against SARS-CoV-2 has been found An antibody therapy treatment that improves the survival of patients with COVID-19 is offering renewed hope for the treatment of those most seriously ill with the disease. Medical News Today: Dementia research: What’s exciting the experts? Besides understanding how dementia develops and how it might be treated, there is an increased research focus on how to improve the lives of people with dementia. Health Essential: Why Gua Sha might be good for you A licensed acupuncturist at Cleveland Clinic explains what gua sha is and offers insights on how it helps the body heal. Global Citizen: This Indonesian city has seen an astonishing 77% drop in dengue fever cases thanks to new trial Could an end to dengue fever be possible? The success from a trial in the city of Yogyakarta is paving the way for this to become a reality. Public concern on human health impact of plastic pollution A new study found that both Europeans and Australians were highly concerned about the human health impact of marine plastic pollution, ranking it top of 16 marine-related threats in terms of cause for concern. Photo credit: Brian Yurasits on Unsplash Upcoming Webinar image The demand for freshwater in Southeast Asia is rising as supply is becoming more uncertain. Population growth, urbanisation rates, climate change, and COVID-19 exacerbate stress on the region’s water resources. In this second webinar of our series “In the Wake of a Changing Climate”, panellists will delve deeper into the water dimension of the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus to identify where the current and future water-related challenges are, and the solutions for more effective water governance and management. Date : 13 July 2021, Tuesday Time : 1.00pm – 2.30pm (GMT +8) Join us to learn more about the complexities and exciting progress made in managing the region’s water security from our panel of global climate experts. Click here to find out more. *This series is jointly organised with the NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions. Register now Healthbytes Pressure points on the feet to relieve headaches Source: Medical News Today Having a headache and prefer not to pop another Panadol? Learn more about the science behind acupressure, and the pressure points on the feet that could help relieve a headache.

About

Leaders and changemakers of today face unique and complex challenges. The HEAD Foundation Digest features insights and opinions from those in the know addressing a wide range of pertinent issues that factor in a society’s development. 

Informed opinions can inspire healthy discussions and open up our imagination to new possibilities. Interested in contributing? Write to us at info@headfoundation

Stay updated on our latest announcements on events and publications

About

Leaders and changemakers of today face unique and complex challenges. The HEAD Foundation Digest features insights and opinions from those in the know addressing a wide range of pertinent issues that factor in a society’s development. 

Informed opinions can inspire healthy discussions and open up our imagination to new possibilities. Interested in contributing? Write to us at info@headfoundation

Stay updated on our latest announcements on events and publications

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Stay updated on all the latest news and events

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