Medical Marijuana in Canada

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Health Canada, the nation’s federal health department, has has approved 12 companies to grow and sell pot to patients. The department estimates will eventually create a $1.3-billion annual bud business. Health Canada has 600 applicants pending.

Read the full article and check out the map on Huffington Post.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com

New York Digital Health Accelerator Accepting Applications

The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and the Partnership Fund for New York City (Partnership Fund) launched the call for applications for the second class of the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA), a program that is making New York a hub for the emerging digital health technology industry.  NYDHA’s inaugural class of eight companies raised $12 million in additional capital and created over 120 jobs.

10 companies will receive $100,000 in investment capital along with invaluable mentoring from senior-level executives at leading hospitals and other providers in New York. By introducing these companies to healthcare providers, the program also connects them to potential customers. Applications for the program are due April 18, 2014.

Read the article here and visit Digital Health Accelerator for more details on applying.

Interested in applying, why don’t you try a mapping project?

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com

A Polio Free Southeast Asia

Source: LA Times

Southeast Asia is officially polio free according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The region, comprising of Bangladesh, Bhutan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste,  is the fourth of six worldwide regions to earn a polio-free status. In 1995, the Americas became the first region WHO declared polio-free, followed by the Western Pacific region in 2000 and the European region in 2002.

Polio is a viral disease that affects the nervous system and often spreads through regions with poor sanitation largely affecting children under age 5. Although the WHO said 80% of the world’s population now live in polio-free regions, officials note more work is needed, especially in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, where the disease remains prevalent.

Read the article here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com 

Measles in Canada?!?!

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Canada has seen an increase in the number of measles cases since the beginning of the year in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Although measles in rare in Canada, there have been outbreaks in the Philippines and Netherlands. Measles is a very contagious disease and can be very serious, commonly causing diarrhea and pneumonia, and in rarer cases encephalitis and death. It spreads easily through close contact with an infected person.

Measles can be prevented through vaccination. If you are experiencing symptoms of measles (including fever, runny nose, drowsiness, irritability, red eyes/sensitivity to light, small white spots on the inside of the mouth and throat and red blotchy rashes), visit your doctor.

For more information, visit Canada’s Public Health Agency. Check out the map here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com 

More Health Disparities in the US

2014-children-poverty_0Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute have released the latest edition of County Health Rankings. The heath rankings are based on 29 factors, including smoking, high school graduation rates, housing problems, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods.

The maps generally show wide gaps in health disparities between the North and South.

Read the article here and check out the rankings of your state and county here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com 

Where’s HIV in the United States?

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AIDSVu is an interactive online map illustrating the prevalence of HIV in the United States. The state- and county-level data on AIDSVu come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national HIV surveillance database, which is comprised of HIV surveillance reports from state and local health departments. ZIP code and census tract data come directly from state, county and city health departments, depending on which entity is responsible for HIV surveillance in a particular geographic area.

Uses can search through HIV prevalence data by race/ethnicity, sex and age, and see how HIV prevalence is related to various social determinants of health, such as educational attainment and poverty.

As one can see, HIV prevalence in the United States is concentrated in the South highlighting one of the many health disparities in the North-South divide in the United States.

Check out the map here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com 

A North-South Divide

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According to these maps compiled by the Huffington Post from various sources such as the US Department of Labor, USDA and Gallup, living in the Southern US isn’t all the rosy. Compared to Northern states Southern states have higher poverty rates, lower minimum wages, higher rates of obesity, decreased access to affordable health care…just to name some of the few health disparities.

Read the article and check out the maps here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com