17 – 23 September 2016

Anne Mills is interviewed by Sky News (top video, 00m59s) following Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge of $3bn to cure, prevent or manage all disease. She said: “I think it’s an excellent idea that there may be some sort of whole systems approaches. I think medical science is very, very classified by a particular disease or a particular problem and I think to think imaginatively and innovatively in terms of more generic solutions to ill health is a fantastic idea.” Anne’s interview was played hourly on the Sky News channel throughout the evening.

There is continued global coverage of the maternal health series published in The Lancet, co-authored by Wendy Graham and Oona Campbell. Wendy is quoted in The Huffington Post: “In all countries, the burden of maternal mortality falls disproportionately on the most vulnerable groups of women.” There is also coverage in Humanosphere, Toronto Star, The Hindu, Nigeria’s Vanguard, Jakarta Globe and Brazil’s O Globo.

Andy Haines writes a blog for The Huffington Post explaining why the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on sustainable cities is crucial for public health: “There is growing evidence that the built environment and urban transport can be powerful influences on health. More compact cities tend to have lower levels of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.”

Val Curtis speaks to The Guardian about a Lancet study that suggests the role of microorganisms in childhood diarrhoea has been greatly underestimated. Val said: “Diarrhoeal disease is not sexy. It sounds unpleasant. It has never been the area that people have really, really wanted to put their effort into. ‘We need to talk about shit’ is my campaign slogan.”

Mark Rowland appears on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Naked Scientists Podcast (from 00h05m36s) on research he co-ordinated into alternative mosquito nets to fight insecticide resistance. He said: “Not all mosquitos are resistant to pyrethroids, but those that survive need to be dealt with in some way. We’re combining the standard insecticide with a new insecticide, which actually doesn’t kill them, it sterilizes them, it stops them from producing eggs.” The podcast was also broadcast on the BBC’s regional radio stations.

Diana Lockwood speaks to the Daily Mail on leishmaniasis and how it can be contracted via sandfly bites: “You sometimes hear this disease described as a ‘flesh-eating bug’, but what actually happens is that the body responds to the parasite with a lot of inflammation, which then breaks down into an ulcer.”

The Metro conducts a Q&A with Adam Kucharski on the application of mathematics to understanding disease outbreaks. He said: “Life consists of uncertainty and risk but scientists and mathematicians have created a framework by which we can understand what’s going on.”

Vikram Patel writes for The Indian Express on the ranking of India in the overall SDG health index and what the government needs to address. He says: “If this country can send a satellite to Mars at a fraction of the cost of other countries who attempted to do the same, then surely we can fix our broken healthcare system with whatever resources we have.”

Vikram also speaks to The Guardian following news that the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is due to open a ‘ministry of happiness’ that will research mental health: “I fear it will trivialise depression. It is important to say that unhappiness and depression are not the same thing, though their determinants do overlap.”

Vikram is quoted by The Independent on Indian traders spray-painting fruit to make it appear more natural and the pressures faced by the country’s agricultural industry: “Globalisation of agriculture threatens the livelihood of farmers which, along with climate uncertainty, makes farming a risky profession. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if farmers were resorting to this measure.”

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