31 October-13 November

Peter Piot writes in Scientific American about how human innovation shapes global health, highlighting the vital role of frontline workers. Peter said: “Innovation is so much more than the discovery or launching of new therapies, vaccines and/or apps. It is first and foremost about finding better ways of reaching people.”

Peter is also a guest on the Global Dispatches podcast, discussing epidemics and what can be done to avert and contain them. He also records a podcast with Nature on the hurdles that must be overcome to ensure we’re not turning the clock back on immunisation, saying ‘20 million children aren’t covered by basic vaccines. We must reach them’.

Peter speaks to BBC Global Health about the approval of the Merck Ebola vaccine and the introduction of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the DRC through a large-clinical trial, sponsored by LSHTM. Peter said: “We finally have something to offer to people but now we must make sure that they have access to them.” The package runs in the evening and overnight on BBC World TV.

Director of the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team Daniel Bausch and co-pi of the trial tells BBC Online: “That the J&J vaccine may provide longer-term immunity, and may be associated with fewer side-effects than a live virus vaccine.”

David Leon’s research on falling life expectancy gains is covered in the i, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and elsewhere. Speaking to the i, David said: “These trends represent a real reversal of the situation in England and Wales in the 1970s and 1980s… Further work is urgently required to understand what the reasons are for this reversal since 2000.”

Beate Kampmann speaks to NPR about issues facing vaccination programmes in middle-income countries. Beate said: “The middle-income countries are in a tricky situation because they don’t qualify for support, yet they don’t necessarily have the financial resources and stability to purchase the vaccines.”

Rachel Scott speaks to the BBC World Service about how women’s networks have helped other women access healthcare in The History Hour’s exploration of the ‘Jane’ abortion service in 1960s Chicago. Rachel said: “Especially when abortion is very restricted, the ways that people find out about it are through word of mouth.”

James Logan talks to the Telegraph about cases of Zika virus in France. James said: “It’s one thing for travellers to come back to a country with a disease, that happens all the time. It’s another thing completely when a disease is transmitted locally… In many ways this is a bit of a wake up call for the continent.”

Jimmy Whitworth provides expert comment in the Telegraph about the worldwide rise of tick-borne diseases, following the discovery of the first case of tick-borne encephalitis in the UK. Jimmy said: “Perhaps one of the key factors here is that milder winters allow ticks to move into more northerly ranges.”

Jimmy also speaks with NPR News about the likelihood of further Zika transmission in 2019, saying: “It’s getting cold, and the mosquitoes are going to be dying off, so I’d be surprised if there was any more transmission that occurred this year.” Jimmy’s comments were widely syndicated by local US radio stations.

Julian Eaton speaks to the Telegraph following a Human Rights Watch report revealing widespread mistreatment of mental health patients in Nigeria. Julian said: “Mental health is a very, very low priority. We need to have a radical shift of the entire budget [from] being spent on centralised services to broader community care.”

Martin McKee provides expert comment on a study on the safety of vaping on the BBC News at Nine, the Evening Standard and the Metro, with his comments also appearing widely in local news outlets. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Martin called the study “an excellent piece of detective work… This should be a wake-up call for those who, despite growing evidence to the contrary, continue to promote these products.”

Heidi Larson speaks to the Mirror about vaccine hesitancy in a story on the falling rate of MMR vaccination in London. Heidi said: “The reasons [for hesitancy] are complex. Some have religious objections. Others want freedom from government control, big business or big pharma.” But she stresses that serious reactions to vaccination are very uncommon: “It is far safer to vaccinate than not.”

Sally Bloomfield discusses the health risks of flying in Which?, following a survey of airline cleanliness. Sally said: “You’re in an environment where you’re more likely to catch something – in a closed space, surrounded by hundreds of people.”

 

On social media:

Our social media highlight comes from Instagram, where we proved that even Halloween pumpkins could be LSHTM-themed:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4SkoIRgXKy/

 

 

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