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1.
Front Public Health ; 9: 698995, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34490183

RESUMO

Objective: The first wave of the coronavirus SARS-COV-2 pandemic has revealed a fragmented governance within the European Union (EU) to tackle public health emergencies. This qualitative study aims: 1) to understand the current EU position within the field of public health emergencies taking the case of the COVID-19 as an example by comparing and contrasting experiences from EU institutions and experts from various EU Member States at the beginning of the pandemic; and, 2) to identify and to formulate future EU pandemic strategies and actions based on experts' opinions. Methods: Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with public health experts from various European Member States and European Commission officials from May 2020 until August 2020. The transcripts were analyzed by Thematic Content Analysis (TCA), mainly a manifest content analysis. Results: This study demonstrated that the limited EU mandate in health hinders proper actions to prevent and tackle infectious disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that this limitation significantly impacted the ECDC, as the Member States' competence did not allow the agency to have more capacity. The European Commission has fulfilled its role of coordinating and supporting the Member States by facilitating networks and information exchange. However, EU intra- and inter-communication need further improvement. Although diverse EU instruments and mechanisms were found valid, their implementation needed to be faster and more efficient. The results pointed out that underlying political challenges in EU decision-making regarding health emergencies hinder the aligned response. It was stated that the Member States were not prepared, and due to the restriction of their mandate, EU institutions could not enforce binding guidelines. Additionally, the study explored future EU pandemic strategies and actions. Both, EU institutions and national experts suggested similar and clear recommendations regarding the ECDC, the investment, and future harmonized preparedness tools. Conclusion: The complex politics of public health at the EU level have led to the fragmentation of its governance for effective pandemic responses. This ongoing pandemic has shed light on the fragility of the political and structural systems in Europe in public health emergencies. Health should be of high importance in the political agenda, and robust health reforms at the local, regional, national, and EU levels are highly recommended.


Assuntos
COVID-19 , Saúde Pública , Emergências , União Europeia , Prova Pericial , Humanos , Pandemias/prevenção & controle , SARS-CoV-2
3.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(9): e1009288, 2021 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34473693

RESUMO

Mass vaccination offers a promising exit strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as vaccination progresses, demands to lift restrictions increase, despite most of the population remaining susceptible. Using our age-stratified SEIRD-ICU compartmental model and curated epidemiological and vaccination data, we quantified the rate (relative to vaccination progress) at which countries can lift non-pharmaceutical interventions without overwhelming their healthcare systems. We analyzed scenarios ranging from immediately lifting restrictions (accepting high mortality and morbidity) to reducing case numbers to a level where test-trace-and-isolate (TTI) programs efficiently compensate for local spreading events. In general, the age-dependent vaccination roll-out implies a transient decrease of more than ten years in the average age of ICU patients and deceased. The pace of vaccination determines the speed of lifting restrictions; Taking the European Union (EU) as an example case, all considered scenarios allow for steadily increasing contacts starting in May 2021 and relaxing most restrictions by autumn 2021. Throughout summer 2021, only mild contact restrictions will remain necessary. However, only high vaccine uptake can prevent further severe waves. Across EU countries, seroprevalence impacts the long-term success of vaccination campaigns more strongly than age demographics. In addition, we highlight the need for preventive measures to reduce contagion in school settings throughout the year 2021, where children might be drivers of contagion because of them remaining susceptible. Strategies that maintain low case numbers, instead of high ones, reduce infections and deaths by factors of eleven and five, respectively. In general, policies with low case numbers significantly benefit from vaccination, as the overall reduction in susceptibility will further diminish viral spread. Keeping case numbers low is the safest long-term strategy because it considerably reduces mortality and morbidity and offers better preparedness against emerging escape or more contagious virus variants while still allowing for higher contact numbers (freedom) with progressing vaccinations.


Assuntos
Vacinas contra COVID-19 , COVID-19 , Vacinação em Massa , Adolescente , Adulto , Idoso , Idoso de 80 Anos ou mais , COVID-19/epidemiologia , COVID-19/prevenção & controle , Criança , Pré-Escolar , União Europeia/estatística & dados numéricos , Humanos , Lactente , Recém-Nascido , Vacinação em Massa/legislação & jurisprudência , Vacinação em Massa/estatística & dados numéricos , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Adulto Jovem
4.
Yearb Med Inform ; 30(1): 226-232, 2021 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34479394

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: This survey article presents a literature review of relevant publications aiming to explore whether the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has held true during a time of crisis and the implications that arose during the COVID-19 outbreak. METHOD AND RESULTS: Based on the approach taken and the screening of the relevant articles, the results focus on three themes: a critique on GDPR; the ethics surrounding the use of digital health technologies, namely in the form of mobile applications; and the possibility of cross border transfers of said data outside of Europe. Within this context, the article reviews the arising themes, considers the use of data through mobile health applications, and discusses whether data protection may require a revision when balancing societal and personal interests. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, although it is clear that the GDPR has been applied through a mixed and complex experience with data handling during the pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed shown that it was a test the GDPR was designed and prepared to undertake. The article suggests that further review and research is needed to first ensure that an understanding of the state of the art in data protection during the pandemic is maintained and second to subsequently explore and carefully create a specific framework for the ethical considerations involved. The paper echoes the literature reviewed and calls for the creation of a unified and harmonised network or database to enable the secure data sharing across borders.


Assuntos
COVID-19 , Segurança Computacional/legislação & jurisprudência , Coleta de Dados/ética , Disseminação de Informação/ética , Segurança Computacional/ética , Confidencialidade , Coleta de Dados/legislação & jurisprudência , União Europeia , Regulamentação Governamental , Humanos , Disseminação de Informação/legislação & jurisprudência
6.
Gene ; 803: 145889, 2021 Nov 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34371094

RESUMO

Although seen as a revolution in modern science, gene therapy has been plagued by failed clinical trials and controversial ethics in the last thirty years. Moreover, there is no comprehensive, in-depth, high-quality analysis of global gene therapy patents. This paper proposes a method to correctly retrieve patents to address the issue and use it for the patent landscape. The results show the global patent landscape of gene therapy, with the United States dominating the field, while China has emerged as a leader in recent years. For various reasons, the EU, Korea, and Japan lag in the development of patented technologies. China has edged closer to the US in both live and indefinite patents, with the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences leading the way, surpassing primary applicants such as the US Department of Health and Human Services, the University of California, and the University of Pennsylvania. The study also reveals four broad categories of technologies that have been extensively studied in gene therapy: basic biology of the gene and diseases, diseases being treated, gene delivery methods, and potential adverse events. What is more, Adeno-Associated Virus, Retrovirus, and Lentivirus are the most prevalent gene therapy delivery vectors after 2014. The industrial development trend revealed in this paper can provide an evidence-based basis for scientific research management and decision-making.


Assuntos
Terapia Genética , Vetores Genéticos/classificação , Patentes como Assunto , China , Dependovirus/genética , União Europeia , Humanos , Japão , Lentivirus/genética , República da Coreia , Retroviridae/genética , Estados Unidos
7.
J Environ Manage ; 298: 113513, 2021 Nov 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34403918

RESUMO

Mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions has become an utmost important global agenda, keeping into consideration the associated environmental hardships. As a result, it is important to unearth the factors which can neutralize carbon emissions to transform the world economy into a low-carbon one. Against this backdrop, this study explores the carbon dioxide neutralizing effects of economic growth, international tourism, clean energy promotion, and technological innovation in the context of five European Union (EU-5) nations during the 1990-2015 period. This study's main contribution is in terms of its approach to test the interaction effect between foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and energy innovation on carbon dioxide emissions. The econometric analysis chronologically involves the employment of unit root, cointegration, causality, and regression methods. Overall, the findings support the inverted-U-shaped economic growth-carbon dioxide emissions nexus to verify the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis. Besides, the Pollution Haven Hypothesis in the context of the selected panel is also verified as higher FDI inflows are seen to boost the carbon dioxide emission levels. The results also confirm that energy innovation moderates the harmful effect of air transport (a proxy for international tourism) on carbon dioxide emissions during the developing stage of the tourism industry. On the other hand, renewable energy promotion is found to curb carbon dioxide emissions. These findings suggest that the European governments need to enhance investments in their respective renewable energy sectors and simultaneously ensure the development of clean industries, which can collectively help these nations become carbon-neutral in the future.


Assuntos
Dióxido de Carbono , Turismo , Desenvolvimento Econômico , União Europeia , Investimentos em Saúde , Energia Renovável
8.
J Environ Manage ; 297: 113437, 2021 Nov 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34351301

RESUMO

This paper focuses on the association between the probability and the number of green jobs at the firm level and the circular economy (CE) strategies related to the 4Rs approach (reduce, reuse, recycle and redesign) implemented by companies located in the European Union. Factors related to resources and technological and organizational capabilities are also considered. Using a zero-inflated negative binomial model (ZINB), results confirm that firms involved in CE have a higher probability to generate green jobs. Reusing, redesign and reducing practices are positively related to the number of green jobs. When we consider separately different CE actions, energy efficiency and minimising waste have a positive relationship with the number of green jobs, while recycling practices are not relevant. Reusing materials and redesign are both positively associated with the probability to have green employment and with the number of green jobs. Concerning firm resources and capabilities, larger firms have a higher probability to be in the group of firms with green jobs. As well, firms' technological capabilities, openness to external sources of knowledge and green products and services specialization are crucial not only for the probability but also for having a greater number of green jobs.


Assuntos
Reciclagem , Tecnologia , Emprego , União Europeia , Modelos Estatísticos
11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34360382

RESUMO

Among the physical pollutants affecting indoor air, the radioactive gas radon may turn out to be the most hazardous. Health effects related to radon exposure have been investigated for several decades, providing major scientific evidence to conclude that chronic exposures can cause lung cancer. Additionally, an association with other diseases, such as leukemia and cancers of the extra-thoracic airways, has been advanced. The implementation of a strategy to reduce the exposure of the population and minimize the health risk, according to the European Directive 59/2013/Euratom on ionizing radiations, is a new challenge in public health management. Starting from an understanding of the general state-of-the-art, a critical analysis of existing approaches has been conducted, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Then, a strategy for assessing the radon exposure of the general population, in a new comprehensive way, is proposed. It identifies three main areas of intervention and provides a list of hazard indicators and operative solutions to control human exposure. The strategy has been conceived to provide a supporting tool to authorities in the introduction of effective measures to assess population health risks due to radon exposure.


Assuntos
Poluentes Radioativos do Ar , Poluição do Ar em Ambientes Fechados , Neoplasias Pulmonares , Radônio , Poluentes Radioativos do Ar/efeitos adversos , Poluentes Radioativos do Ar/análise , Poluição do Ar em Ambientes Fechados/efeitos adversos , Poluição do Ar em Ambientes Fechados/análise , União Europeia , Humanos , Radônio/análise , Radônio/toxicidade , Medição de Risco
12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34360434

RESUMO

Cancer burden in the European Union (EU) is increasing and has stimulated the European Commission (EC) to develop strategies for cancer control. A common "one size fits all" prevention policy may not be effective in reducing cancer morbidity and mortality. The goal of this paper is to show that EU member states are not homogenous in terms of their exposure to risk factors for cancer (i.e., lifestyle, socio-economic status (SES), air pollution, and vaccination). Data from a variety of sources including Eurostat, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the European Health Interview Survey, Eurobarometer, and the European Environment Agency were merged across years 2013-2015 and used to develop a cluster analysis. This work identified four patterns of cancer prevention behaviors in the EU thus making it possible to group EU members states into four distinct country clusters including: sports-engaged countries, tobacco and pollutant exposed nations, unhealthy lifestyle countries, and a stimulant-enjoying cluster of countries. This paper finds that there is a need for closer collaboration among EU countries belonging to the same cluster in order to share best practices regarding health policy measures that might improve cancer control interventions locally and across the EU.


Assuntos
Política de Saúde , Neoplasias , Análise por Conglomerados , Europa (Continente) , União Europeia , Humanos , Neoplasias/epidemiologia , Neoplasias/prevenção & controle , Fatores de Risco
13.
Appetite ; 166: 105474, 2021 11 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34216706

RESUMO

Mass media extensively inform societies about events threatening the global food supply (e.g., pandemics or Brexit). Consumers exposed to such communication may perceive food resources as becoming scarcer. In line with an evolutionary account, these perceptions can shift decision-making in domains such as food preferences or prosociality. However, existing literature has solely focused on actual and past food insecurity experiences threatening mostly low-income families, thus neglecting the future-oriented perceptions among the general population. This paper broadens the food insecurity research scope by developing a new construct-anticipated food scarcity (AFS)-which is defined as the perception that food resources are becoming less available (in the future). We have developed and psychometrically validated the 8-item Anticipated Food Scarcity Scale (AFSS) in eight studies (N = 1333). The 8-item AFSS is unidimensional and has good psychometric qualities. The scale is sensitive to food scarcity cues and, therefore, can be used in experimental research. Moreover, its relatively narrow set of items makes it an exceptionally potent tool for use in online surveys, field settings, and lab studies. Taken together, the AFSS presents an alternative approach to food scarcity measurement in affluent societies and, consequently, can foster novel research on food waste, prosocial behaviors, and other similar topic areas.


Assuntos
Alimentos , Eliminação de Resíduos , União Europeia , Abastecimento de Alimentos , Humanos , Psicometria , Inquéritos e Questionários , Reino Unido
19.
Sci Total Environ ; 795: 148625, 2021 Nov 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34247073

RESUMO

Sustainable agriculture aims to meet the food needs of the growing world population while ensuring minimal impact on the environment and humans as well as productivity. Although pesticides represent the backbone of the agri-food sector in its endeavor to secure food production their application is perceived by many as an obstacle towards the achievement of sustainability; the main concerns are linked with their adverse effects on human health and the environment. Τhis review aims to present the status of chemical plant protection and provide insights into the use of pesticides within the context of sustainable agriculture. It mainly focuses on the strengthened legislation frameworks, which especially in the European Union and the United States of America ensure the placement in the market of pesticides with acceptable toxicological and environmental profiles without compromising crop production. Furthermore, the implementation of Integrated Pest Management principles plays a key role in the sustainable use of pesticides. The stringent regulatory requirements have resulted in the dramatic increase of the associated effort and costs in pesticide research and development (R&D) of improved products. Nevertheless, the investment of leading agrochemical companies in the R&D of new pesticides remains high. All the above set the ground for the sustainable use of pesticides in crop production while their successful application remains a challenge.


Assuntos
Praguicidas , Agricultura , Produção Agrícola , União Europeia , Humanos , Controle de Pragas
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