Top Five Global Health Stories: Docters in Bahrain Report Abuse, Paralyzed Man Stands

BY Talea Miller  May 20, 2011 at 1:24 PM EDT


Bahrain doctors treat protestors in February. AFP/Getty photo.

Doctors Detained in Bahrain Report Abuse

More than 100 medical workers have been targeted and detained by Bahrain’s government in recent months for their role in aiding protestors, say human rights groups, and many are still locked up facing military trials.

Human Rights Watch says it has also received credible reports of torture and mistreatment from detainees, and a doctor the NewsHour team spoke with in Bahrain said she was mistreated after being detained for treating protestors.

“During the interrogation, whenever I said something which they don’t like it, they will slap me again. And I was beaten also by a hose on my hands and my thighs,” she said. “In the dark…they gave me the paper of confession to sign it and thumb — thumbprint without knowing what is there in that paper.”

Paralyzed Man Stands with Aid of Electric Therapy

For the first time, a man completely paralyzed from the chest down regained the ability to take several steps with support and stand on his own thanks to electric stimulation to his spinal cord, new research published in the Lancet shows.

Rob Summers, 25, was paralyzed in 2006 after being hit by a car that jumped the curb. After undergoing intensive motion training, an electrical pulse generator that mimics the brain’s signals for movement was implanted in his back and Summers was able to regain some voluntary motion during stimulation sessions that lasted up to two hours.

Cholera in Dominican Republic Capital

The Dominican Republic has yet to see a mass cholera outbreak along the lines of the one still plaguing neighboring Haiti, but 16 new suspected cases of the deadly disease in Santo Domingo have the government on high alert.

The country tightened border controls and beefed up hygiene campaigns after the disease first hit Haiti in late 2010.

China Cuts AIDS Mortality by Two-Thirds

Since the Chinese government began distributing free antiretroviral drugs in 2002, AIDS mortality in the country has dropped by 64 percent when measured in “person-years,” an estimate of the number of years of life that would have been lost to premature death.

The government initiative now covers 63 percent of all HIV patients who need drugs.

WHO to Take on Cell Phone-Cancer Link

The World Health Organization is getting ready to rule on whether radiation from cell phones can cause cancer. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer will review research and decide if the devices can be labeled as a source of carcinogens at a meeting this month.