18 – 24 April 2019

Brian Greenwood provides expert comment to Reuters on the world’s first ever malaria vaccine, after final trial data showed that it offered partial protection for up to four years. Brian said: “Given that there were an estimated 198 million malaria cases in 2013, this level of efficacy potentially translates into millions of cases of malaria in children being prevented.”

Martin McKee is quoted in The Independent on the harmful effects of vaping, which is endorsed by Public Health England as a tool for helping smokers to quit. Martin said: “PHE seems to be doing everything it can to promote e-cigarettes. The nicotine in e-cigarettes is not a harmless drug and then there are all these other things such as flavourings that are inhaled.”

Martin’s comments were picked up by newswire Press Association and then covered by The Telegraph, Express, Mail on Sunday, Metro, Sky News and The Sun.

Martin was also interviewed by BBC World at One on the topic (live link not available).

Martin also spoke to Reuters about a new study that found suicide rates grow more slowly in states that increase their minimum wage. The researchers suggest that this could be a strategy for curbing deaths by suicide. Martin said: “Although the study cannot prove whether or how changes in the minimum wage might directly impact suicide rates, it builds on evidence from other studies suggesting that higher wages might indeed mean fewer suicide deaths.”

Anna Goodman co-authors a piece published in The Independent about how cycling to school could become mainstream, if transport planning is improved. The authors write: “If we get there, the benefits are great: improved health and wellbeing, cars off the road, greater child (and parental) mobility and independence. This will involve a shift in mindset, prioritising children’s health over adults’ car-driving convenience.”

Heidi Larson authors an ‘Ask the Experts’ piece for Infectious Diseases Hub on vaccine confidence in the ‘post-truth’ world. Heidi writes: “This is high-risk behaviour that’s driven by alternative beliefs, but there are also cases where there are individuals who are purposefully trying to use this uncertain environment to disrupt public acceptance of vaccines.”

West End Extra cover news that LSHTM are seeking planning permission to add the names of notable women to the Keppel Street building, joining other prominent health scientists such as Patrick Manson and Ronald Ross.

On social media

This week’s social media highlight comes from the LSHTM Twitter account, sharing news that LSHTM has been awarded £7m from the Department for International Development. The funding is for research to help improve the health of disabled people in low and middle-income countries. You can read more about the funding and work here.

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