16 – 22 May 2019

New LSHTM-led research finds that 1 in 7 babies worldwide are born with a low birthweight. The figures are the first estimates of their kind and indicate that national governments are doing too little to reduce low birthweight. Senior author Joy Lawn said: “These first ever national and global trends for low birthweight rates are a wake-up call to governments, UN and all partners to address three crucial gaps. Firstly, the gap in care to support those 20.5 million small babies. Secondly, the prevention gap, to meet the Global Goal and to reduce low birthweight rates. Thirdly, the data gap, to ensure that all babies are weighed at birth and that that data is entered into the system.”

The research was widely covered and coverage included The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, CNN, CBS, AFP, NPR, Irish Independent, Die Welt, El Pais, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit,  New Straits Times and Le Figaro.

LSHTM and Takeda Pharmaceutical announced the establishment of the “Takeda Chair in Global Child Health”, endowed by a £3 million donation by Takeda. It is LSHTM’s first fully endowed corporate chair and will support vital research to help reduce child deaths in low and middle-income countries.

LSHTM worked with Takeda to issue media releases, and the news was covered in nearly 500 outlets across the world, particularly in Asia.

Adam Kucharski speaks to Fortune about how new Disease Prevention Maps, produced by Facebook, which give information about population numbers and movement, could help in gathering information about outbreaks and responding to them. Adam said: “”This is an extra insight we have not had before. It saves us from making broad assumptions.”

Abigail Page is quoted in The Telegraph about a new study, conducted by LSHTM and Cambridge University, which looked at the move towards agriculture around 11,000 years ago. Researchers suggest that when communities in the Philippines moved from hunting to farming, life became 50% more difficult. Abigail said: “We have to be really cautious when extrapolating from contemporary hunter-gatherers to different societies in pre-history. But if the first farmers really did work harder than foragers then this begs an important question – why did humans adopt agriculture?”

Phil Edwards provides expert comment to the Washington Post about an experiment in New York where mobile light towers were placed across the city, with the purpose of reducing crime. Phil said: “The experiment adds to the considerable body of evidence that installing lights reduces crime.”

The Guardian cover news that the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) have voted in favour of decriminalising prostitution, in a move to protect sex workers’ health. In explaining their decision, the RCN cited LSHTM-led research which provided evidence that sex workers who had encountered arrest or imprisonment, were three times more likely to be victims of sexual or physical assaults.

Rachel Lowe speaks to Deutche Welle about how environmental change and increased temperatures can affect the movement of vectors that transmit diseases, such as mosquitoes that carry Dengue. Rachel said: “A warming climate can cause mosquitoes to expand to higher latitudes and altitudes.” (Rachel’s interview starts around 22minutes in)

Kessar Kalim features in an article in HR Magazine, about reporting extremism in the workplace.

Atlas Obscura publish an article about the LSHTM Keppel Street building and the gilded Art Deco vectors displayed on the building.

Social media highlight

This week’s social media highlight comes from the LSHTM Twitter page, and shares news that LSHTM was ranked the top UK University for open access and gender diversity in research 2019 CWTS Leiden Ranking. The ranking is also a media highlight as it was covered in The Guardian.

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