29 January – 4 February 2018

A new LSHTM study finds that although there have been global improvements in cancer survival, there are still wide and persistent disparities between countries, particularly for some childhood cancers. CONCORD-3, the latest in a series of reports from the Cancer Survival Group, is the largest study of population-based cancer survival trends. Michel Coleman said: “The UK needs to consider improving funding for health services and the number of specialists to treat cancer patients because by any published metric the UK is not doing well. It’s not only doctors and health professionals but resources like radiotherapy machines are less available in this country.” The study is reported in The Times, The Mirror, The Sun and the Daily Mail and internationally on ABC News and NPR. It was also featured on news bulletins including BBC World at One.

The Lancet reports that on 1 February, the MRC Unit The Gambia and the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit joined LSHTM. The transfers will build on the existing strong relationships between LSHTM and both Units, ensuring stronger scientific collaboration as well as new career opportunities for researchers.

David Mabey speaks to BBC Health Check about an outbreak of drug-resistant typhoid currently affecting Pakistan. David says: “In the past when typhoid has become resistant to antibiotics we switched to another. Twenty years ago we used a quinolone called ciprofloxacin and that worked very well until salmonella typhoid became resistant to that.”

Kim Mulholland is quoted by the Financial Times talking about how pneumonia is often overlooked in developing countries, even though it is the most important paediatric problem in the world. Kim says this is because the typical victim is “the malnourished child, from the poorest family, from the community that is not really served by government.”

Kim also co-authors a letter to the Financial Times titled, ‘Pneumonia is the single biggest killer of children in world’s poorest countries’. The letter makes the case that governments in developing countries need to increase investment in under-financed health systems and also increase the efficiency and equity of investment.

Heather Wardle speaks to BBC Women’s Hour about children gambling after a recent study found that 12% of children aged between 11 and 15 had gambled in the last week. Heather says: “Children are being exposed to gambling in a way they never have before. It is both the new permissiveness of the advertising and marketing, which we didn’t have before 2007 which is when some of these things changed. It is also the function of technology.”

Jennifer Yip is quoted in The Guardian discussing a new project that has delivered universal eye care for the population of Rwanda. Rwanda is the first low-income country to achieve universal eye care. Jennifer says: “Without the resources to access eye care you are significantly more likely to become blind. We’ve found that 34% of the population in Rwanda could benefit from some form of eye care. This ranges from very minor symptoms to those requiring life-changing surgery.”

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