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Weekly Roundups

Poverty, Antimicrobial Resistance, Insomnia: COVID-19 Effects

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 11/18/2021 - 12:40

Mexico hopes for a fructiferous meeting between President Andrés Manuel López Obrador with US President Joe Biden and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Meanwhile, scientists shine a light on long-term COVID-19 effects, which include sleeping disorders and antimicrobial resistance.

Here is the week in health!

COVID-somia

Sleeping problems and poor sleep increased significantly during the pandemic, according to Alejandro Jiménez, Coordinator, Sleep Clinic from the National Institute of Psychiatry. “At least 45 percent of Mexicans suffer from poor quality sleep problems, mainly insomnia, one of the main disorders that worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic.” Various factors such as fear of acquiring the virus, concern for infected family members and even anguish at presenting an unfavorable recovery where among the main reasons behind this issue. These sleeping disorders are now known as COVID-somia, said Jiménez.

North American Trilateral Meeting

Today, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will meet his North American counterparts US President Joe Biden and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Washington DC. In it, “Mexico will propose to create a mechanism for the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell to Milenio. Mexico will also work in information exchange and supply chain continuity for diagnosis, treatment and epidemiological response against the ongoing pandemic, he added.

Vaccination For Teenagers Between the Ages of 15-17

This Monday it announced that teenagers between the ages of 15-17 will be able to register for a jab on Friday, Nov. 19, said Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell. “Children under 15 years of age will not be vaccinated because, according to the analysis, the mortality rate for this segment of the population is extremely low,” he explained. Vaccination for children and teenagers was available only to those with comorbidities and for those whose parents got a legal protection (amparo) to obtain the vaccine. But concerns for unvaccinated children and adolescents grew rapidly as return to in-person classes begun.

Health Budget For 2022 Increases by US$5 Billion

The federal government will increase the health sector’s budget by 15.2 percent for 2022 with a focus on increasing resources to continue combating the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the 2022 Expenditure Budget approved by the Chamber of Deputies last Sunday, the health sector’s budget will be US$38 billion, an over US$5 billion increase from 2021’s budget. While proposing the increased budget, Treasury Secretary Rogelio Ramírez de la O emphasized that the budget will increase the acquisition of vaccines and medicine, free health services and an increase in the workforce of sanitary workers fighting the pandemic.

Antibiotic Management, Responsibility

Latin America had an excessive and “unprecedented” use of antibiotics during the pandemic, informed PAHO. "Throughout this pandemic we have taken the power of antimicrobials for granted," said Clarissa Etienne, Director, PAHO, on the eve of Global Antimicrobial Awareness Week. "And while it may take months or even years for us to see the full repercussions of its misuse and excessive use, we cannot afford to wait to take action." PAHO’s data shows that over 90 percent of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the region received an antimicrobial, despite the fact that only 7 percent of these patients had a secondary infection that justified its use. Medications such as ivermectin, azithromycin and chloroquine were also widely used, although there was strong evidence that they had no benefit for COVID-19 patients.

ENARM Spots Assigned

This year 49,479 doctors applied to study a medical specialty through the National Exam for Aspiring Medical Residents (ENARM) in one of the six official venues: two in Mexico City, two in Nuevo Leon, one in Jalisco and one in Tabasco. According to the Interinstitutional Commission for the Training of Human Resources for Health (CIFRHS) only 17,937 got a place.

Medical Academic Excellence

This year, 83 students from all over the country received the Academic Excellence distinction offered by the Pfizer Scientific Institute (ICP) in collaboration with the Mexican Association of Faculties and Schools of Medicine (AMFEM) in recognition of outstanding performance during their medical career.

Deadly Poverty

Mexicans with low incomes are five times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those with higher incomes, revealed a study published in The Lancet. The study, which followed the outcomes of IMSS beneficiaries, concluded that health inequality in Mexico is a determinant in their final outcome to COVID-19. Even after adjusting for comorbidities, lower-income workers had less probability of surviving serious COVID-19 that those with high-incomes.

"The best 100 inventions of 2021”

COVID-19 vaccines and testing kits stand out in TIME’s "The best 100 inventions of 2021,” which also includes watershed inventions such as a radon detector, an air purifier and telemedicine solutions. Learn more about the developments that made it to the list.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst