4 – 10 December 2017

Peter Piot is featured in NHK World’ Direct Talk discussing why planning ahead is vital to combat future epidemics. The interview covers Peter’s work leading research into HIV/AIDS as founding Executive Director of UNAIDS to co-discovering the Ebola virus in 1976: “A big question is are we prepared for a pandemic – is the world prepared for that and do we take it seriously. There were high level panels including from the United Nations and their conclusion was the world is not prepared and it is not taken seriously.”

Rashida Ferrand is quoted by Voice of America following publication of the School and charity Sentebale’s new policy paper which aims to support governments, policy makers and NGOs in tackling the continuing high levels of HIV among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa: “We really need to be thinking about all the barriers at every step in that broad environment, both at facility level in clinics et cetera, but also recognizing the fact that most of the time young people do not spend in facilities. So, we have to think of modifying the environments and the barriers that those environments place.” A blog authored by James Hargreaves on HIV surveillance is also published in the Khmer Times.

Katherine Fielding is quoted by The Independent on a new study published in the Thorax Journal, which found that patients being treated for TB were more likely adhere to treatment if they used a smartphone to monitor their treatment: “This observation method would not suit all patients. While these are encouraging results, the next steps need to look at whether this treatment observation method leads to better clinical results for patients, such as improving end of TB treatment outcomes and reducing subsequent TB recurrence.”

Stephen Evans comments in The Guardian after Oxford University’s call for clinical trials to be made mandatory for invasive medical devices. It comes as reports find women were exposed to unnecessary harm due to poor regulation for vaginal mesh products: “The absence of good trials for these vaginal meshes, which has been investigated carefully by these authors, shows the problem clearly. Changes in regulation are often driven by lessons learned from very bad situations, such as thalidomide, and the need for change in regard to devices is clear.”

James Logan talks exclusively to the BMJ after the annual WHO World Malaria Report found progress in malaria control had stalled amid declines in funding: “Now is the time to take action, particularly in the most affected nations. Countries must commit more investment to malaria control and prevention, making better use of currently available tools. In the long term, we also need new innovations for diagnostics, surveillance and prevention, and new technologies that will control the parasite itself and the mosquito vector, particularly in African countries.”

An academic review co-authored by Stefanie Ettelt, looking at funding in residential care – in particular the benefit of direct payment schemes from local authorities, is published in Community Care: “The study highlighted the difficulties in slotting direct payments within existing approaches to residential care. “The absence of a coherent narrative [to support widening direct payments] is indicative of a number of fundamental problems.”

A blog authored by Martin McKee for the BMJ, about the future of the European Health Insurance Card post-Brexit, is referenced by The Financial Times in a commentary piece about the implications of Brexit on the health and social care sector: “The clear implication is that, if the UK wants to maintain some sort of healthcare coverage for its residents in the rest of the EU, including those nationals of other EU member states legally resident and working in the UK when they return home, then it will have to negotiate bilateral agreements with each of the other 27 governments. It is not obvious that all of them will see this as a priority.”

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