Guy's and St Thomas' and King's Clean Air Plan

Global health news round-up: Danish disinfection robots, NZ vaping study

It’s been a busy news week for the UK healthcare sector, from the reporting of COVID-19 vaccination stats to new rapid blood tests that can identify liver scarring. But at Leading Healthcare we appreciate the international outlook too, so we’ve widened our news net to find out what else is happening across the globe.

In this global health news round-up, which covers the last seven days from 8 January to 14 January 2021, we’ve scoured the web to find out what’s being reported worldwide.

Use this as a bitesize overview of interesting international news or find the links to the information below, from reliable sources or media outlets, for further detail.

We start in Australia, where the Medical Research Future Fund has announced $38 million (AUD) in funding for diabetes and heart disease research. This will fund two new research centres, which will reportedly receive $10 million (AUD) each, with a further $18 million to go to translational research projects in these areas. (Australia Government Department of Health)

Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Patty Hajdu has announced that the North American nation will invest $1 million (CAD) to support the COVID-19 Evidence Network. The Network will bring together experts to collaborate across the whole of Canada’s COVID-19 response and allow policy makers access to the best science and latest research on public health measures, health-system arrangements and economic and social impacts, as quickly as possible. (Government of Canada)

In Singapore, there continues to be low levels of local transmission of COVID-19. On 13 January, the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported just 38 confirmed new cases, of which 37 were imported and one found in a dormitory, with no confirmed new cases in the community. Interestingly, there were no new confirmed cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 infection reported between 9 January and 12 January, with the total number of imported cases in Singapore standing at 2,183 (+37), as of 13 January. (Singapore MOH)

In New Zealand, a new University of Auckland study, which uses both advanced 3D computer models and human trials, has been launched to find out the impact of vaping on lungs. The New Zealand Herald reports that Dr Kelly Burrowes’ study aims to investigate both the vaping aerosols and chemicals, as well as the effects on cells and organs. (New Zealand Herald)

A little closer to home, across the Irish Sea, in the Republic of Ireland the Health Service Executive (HSE) announced the launch of its ADHD in Adults National Clinical Programme Model of Care. It’s intended to address ‘the lack of public services for adults’ with the condition, providing support for adults of all ages with ADHD, including those who were or weren’t diagnosed as children, and their parents. (HSE)

According to Reuters, Italy will extend its state of emergency until 30 April 2021, due to COVID-19. It reports that Health Minister Roberto Speranza told Italy’s lower house of parliament that there had been a “worsening of the epidemic” and that a “strong new storm” was mounting across the European continent. The state of emergency, which provides more powers to Italy’s central government, had apparently been due to expire at the end of January. (Reuters)

And finally, there’s health tech news in Denmark, where a Danish robotics company has landed a contract to supply 200 disinfection robots to hospitals across Europe. UVD Robots signed a ‘major contract’ with the European Commission, according to Healthcare DENMARK. The robots, which are mobile and fully autonomous, can kill viruses and bacteria with a UVC light method and will be used in the fight against COVID-19. (Healthcare DENMARK)

If you have any healthcare news to share, contact us at