In brief

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 07 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3572

Cholera cases surge in Haiti: The World Health Organization and aid groups have reported a surge in new cholera cases in Haiti with weekly hospitalisations now at around 2600. As of 2 June, close to 2000 cases and 13 deaths had been reported in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. On 29 May, the ministry of health reported that since the beginning of the outbreak there had been 167 834 hospitalisations and 5337 deaths.

US citizens told how to eat more vegetables: New guidance on healthy eating from the US Department of Agriculture ( shows a dinner plate with four sections with the largest section taken up with vegetables and the others by fruits, grains, and proteins. Beside the plate is a small dish labelled dairy. First Lady Michelle Obama, who has promoted more activity for children and vegetable gardens, said busy parents could look at their children’s plates and see that a plate half full of fruit and vegetables, with lean protein, whole grains, and low fat dairy was a healthy meal.

Translators are dropped as part of Dutch health cuts: The Netherlands is to cease funding translation services for patients from 1 January as part of a package of cuts to patients’ groups. Health minister Edith Schippers has told MPs that patients are themselves responsible for their competence in the Dutch language, advising them, if necessary, to “take someone with them” to help or “hire a translator.”

Refusals to donate organs reach an all time low in Spain: A good practice guide circulated among health professionals during the last quarter of 2010 led to an increase in organ donations of 8.5% in the first four months of 2011 (a total of 601) compared with the same period last year (554). Transplantations rose by 12% during the same period (from 1366 to 1531). Refusals by family members for organs of relatives to be donated fell from 19% in 2010 to 15.5% in 2011.

MSF worker being held in Bahrain: The aid group Médecins Sans Frontières says one of its employees has been detained for weeks in Bahrain having been severely beaten after being arrested by the authorities. MSF said it did not have any information “about where he is being detained, why he was arrested, or what charges are pending.” Bahraini officials denied the allegations but an MSF spokeswoman told the BMJ the agency stood by its claims.

Misrata short of psychiatric drugs: Doctors in Libya’s third largest city Misrata have reported that supplies have run out of several psychiatric drugs including olanzapine, risperidone, sertraline, citalopram, mirtazepine with only two weeks supply of fluoxetine and paroxetine. The charity Libyan Doctors Relief is sending £3000 (€3360; $4930) worth of the drugs to the city this week.


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3572

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