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New Australian Treatment Could Save Wounded Soldiers

Australian scientists Wednesday said they have developed a "breakthrough treatment" to help soldiers severely wounded in battle, with the U.S. to fund further research.

Researchers claim it could be the first big advance in treating battlefield casualties since the Vietnam War, with the potential to dramatically reduce deaths in the field.

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India to Raise Age for Tobacco Purchases, Ban Single Sales

Health campaigners Wednesday welcomed India's plans to raise the age for tobacco purchases to 25 and ban unpackaged cigarettes, hailing them as a major step towards stopping nearly one million tobacco-related deaths a year.

Health Minister J. P. Nadda told parliament on Tuesday he was drawing up legislation to raise the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products, currently 18, and to force vendors only to sell full packets of cigarettes.

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FDA Strengthens Warning on Device Linked to Cancer

U.S. regulators on Monday strengthened their warning against use of a once-popular device for gynecologic surgery that can spread unsuspected cancer, saying its risk is only justified in a fraction of patients.

The Food and Drug Administration updated its April safety warning, saying doctors should not use the devices, called laparoscopic power morcellators, for performing a hysterectomy or removing uterine fibroids "in the vast majority of women."

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Sky-High Abortions in Vietnam as Family Planning Excludes Youth

At a small Hanoi cemetery, Nguyen Van Thao opens a fridge and pulls out a bag of bloody foetuses to prepare for burial -- a grim reminder that Vietnam has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. 

Around 40 percent of pregnancies in the country end in abortion, according to a report by doctors from Hanoi's Central Obstetrics Hospital, the figure is double the rate given by official statistics.

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Apple Teams with (RED) to Fight AIDS

Apple on Monday teamed with the (RED) campaign founded by U2 singer Bono to raise money to fight AIDS.

The move came as the California-based maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macintosh computers shows deeper support for social and environmental causes under the leadership of chief executive Tim Cook.

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U.S. Study: Elderly Should Take Cholesterol-lowering Statins

Nearly everyone aged 66 to 75 should consider taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke, new guidelines published Monday said.

A total of 97 percent of people in the age group, and 100 percent of men, should be on the medication even if their cholesterol levels are normal, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association.

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Study: Benefits of Regular Vitamin D Tests Remain Unproven

Experts said Monday regular tests for vitamin D levels are not proven to be beneficial or harmful, despite previous research warning of damaging effects of vitamin D deficiencies in adults. 

Studies have found that low levels of the vitamin can  increase the risk of bone fractures, heart disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's disease and death. 

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Liberia Free of Ebola by Christmas, Says President

Liberia's president on Monday urged her countrymen to double their efforts to reach the government's goal of having zero new Ebola cases by Dec. 25, a target some experts have described as highly ambitious.

"We've set a pretty tough target. But when you set a target it means that you stay focused on that target and on that goal and then you double your efforts," Sirleaf said during a ceremony marking the docking of a Dutch aid ship in the capital, Monrovia.

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Doctor Working in Sierra Leone is Italy's First Ebola Case

An Italian doctor has contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and is being flown back to Rome for specialist treatment, the health ministry said Monday.

The ministry said the doctor, the first Italian to contract the disease, would arrive in Rome late Monday or early Tuesday and be hospitalized at the Lazzaro Spallanzani national institute for infectious disease.

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ECOWAS Trains Health Workers to Fight Ebola

West Africa's regional bloc ECOWAS said on Sunday it will train 150 health workers this week to help tackle the deadly Ebola disease in the worst hit countries; Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"Health workers from six ECOWAS member states are to undergo training in Accra ahead of their deployment in the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak in the region," the Economic Community of West African States said in a statement.

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