19 – 25 October 2013

Johanna Hanefeld in the Guardian on new research that suggests foreign private patients provide a lucrative source of NHS income:  “[Recently published Government-commissioned research on health tourism is] much more across the government immigration agenda than anything to do with health”. Also on the front page of the Independent and covered by the Financial Times, ObserverGuardian Data BlogIndependent editorialHuffington Post, Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network, Daybreak, Pulse and numerous political and medical online news sites.

David Schellenberg writes on the Lancet Global Health blog about the 6th MIM Pan African Malaria conference, and the prospects for malaria eradication: “The conference theme—including mention of “the E word” (eradication)—would have been unthinkable when MIM last gathered in Durban, in 1999… The elimination agenda is undoubtedly influencing priorities in research. The development of new malaria drugs and vaccines now has an emphasis on blocking transmission: the science is exciting and the approach to regulatory approval intriguing.”

Peter Piot writes on the Huffington Post about the launch of the Oxford Martin Commission’s Now for the Long Term Report: “Long-term issues in global health were a major focus of our work. But it is not only infectious diseases on which we must act to enhance the health, security, and prosperity of future generations. As Commissioners, we believe the threat of non-communicable diseases, such as stroke, cancer, diabetes and dementia, cannot be ignored. They are now the leading cause of death in the world; with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, NCD mortality exceeds that of communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions combined.”

Claire Bertschinger is named as one of the BBC’s 100 Women; she takes part in a day of debate and discussion at the BBC on Friday 25 October.

James Logan joins Jo Good in the BBC Radio London (from 1 hour 6 mins 40 secs) studio talking about dust mites, clothes, moths and the Gower Street insectaries: “The insectaries are actually underneath Gower Street, full of buzzing mosquitoes and tropical insects from all over the world… we breed them there and we use them in our experiments. It’s the perfect environment, it’s dark and dingy and humid.”

Val Curtis writes in Psychology Today about Halloween, and its origins in the ancient universal motives of disgust fear and play: “So Halloween decorations cue fear and disgust. But, hang on—surely plastic porch decorations aren’t so much disgusting or frightening, but fun. They made me smile and laugh, not run or puke. What’s going on here? Again, evolution provides the answer.”

Colin Sutherland writes on the Guardian Global Development Professionals Network about research into the effectiveness of ACT in Africa: Do these findings mean we are now seeing resistance to ACT in Africa? I do not think this is the case. The Malactres consortium, funded by the European Union to conduct the studies in Kenya, and companion studies in Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Nigeria, is using DNA sequence analysis to determine whether there is something special about these persisting parasites. They may bear genetic characteristics that represent an early step towards resistance, but the drugs are still working well for children in Africa. What these findings do mean is that we cannot rely on ACT forever.”

Val Curtis speaks to Huffington Post Live about her new book and the science behind disgust.

James Logan is interviewed on ABC Health Report about how bedbugs are spread and research being carried out by the School to help detect them: “What we’ve been doing here is looking to identify that pheromone – the chemicals that the bedbugs can detect – and we have identified it. We can develop a new trap that could be used to monitor bed bug infestations. So for example in a hotel… if you had a sentinel trap in each of the bedrooms that could be checked daily or weekly then you could pick up on a bedbug infestation as soon as it started and get rid of it before it gets out of control.”

SciDev.net covers a panel session organised by Heidi Larson at the World Health Summit, exploring the pros and cons of social media in global health. Heidi Larson also speaks to Deutsche Welle about how social media can perpetuate rumours about vaccines.

Lois Kin speaks to Reuters about a study that found that among women in their 60s and 70s, behaviors like smoking, drinking and exercise could account for up to 17% of a woman’s risk for disabling conditions like heart disease, arthritis and difficulty walking: “We set out to quantify the influence of current lifestyle on subsequent disability.”

Lancet report on the Global Health Lab lecture ‘What is the contribution of human rights to global health?’

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