By Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Throughout my career I have been at the frontline in the fight against some of the toughest health emergencies of our times. In the 1970s I was working to quell the outbreak of the then-unknown Ebola virus. In the 1990s I was leading the newly-created UNAIDS to tackle one of the greatest pandemics of modern times – the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
By Benjamin Hawkins, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Ross MacKenzie, Macquarie University.
The evidence that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking was described in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent report as “scant and of low certainty”. Predictably, this triggered the latest round of claims and counterclaims in an ongoing, and often acrimonious, dispute about the potential of e-cigarettes.
By Stefan Flasche, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
'Dengue fever kills 20 in Burkina Faso’ reports the BBC. ‘Dengue claims 26 lives in Maharashtra’ leads the Times of India. Deaths from dengue are actually rare but these recent headlines are a reminder of the dangers the virus poses and the need for a concerted global effort to tackle it. Read more
By Hannah Kuper, Co-director of International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
I recently sat with a mother and her baby in an intensive care unit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The baby was tiny, with lots of dark hair and a beautiful name. He also had microcephaly – and the doctor euphemistically said that his face was disproportionate to his head.
By Rein Houben, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Pete Dodd, University of Sheffield.
In rich countries, tuberculosis is sometimes thought of as a thing of the past, the disease that claimed Keats, Poe, Chopin. But globally, TB is today the number one infectious killer, causing an estimated 1.8m deaths in 2015. Read more
By Meenakshi Gautham, Research Fellow - IDEAS Country Coordinator, and Timothy Powell-Jackson, Associate Professor in Health Economics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
India faces a ticking-time bomb when it comes to public health. In 2015 it reported 27% of all neonatal deaths and 21% of all child deaths in the world, and the country accounted for 20% of the global burden of disease in 2013. More than 70% of ailing persons sought care in the private health sector in 2014 and it is well known that a large proportion of this private sector is informal and unrecognised.
By Sandra Mounier-Jack, Senior Lecturer in Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
In April 2013, the National Health Service (NHS) in England was subject to the biggest reorganisation since its creation in 1948. NHS leaders famously described the changes as “so big you could see them from space”.
In a very short space of time, new organisations were created, old ones abolished and responsibilities for public health were transferred from the NHS to local authorities. In the midst of these changes, we investigated what happened to the national immunisation programme.
By Clare Chandler, Co-Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre and Susannah Woodd, Research Fellow Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Global leaders at the United Nations General Assembly have signed a declaration that their 193 countries will take steps to rid the world of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It is only the fourth time in the history of the UN that a health topic has been on the General Assembly agenda. Read more
By John Edmunds, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling and Dean of Faculty of Epidemiology & Population at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
It’s the time of year when hundreds of thousands of teenagers are beginning an exciting new chapter in their lives. Freshers’ week will see friendships fostered for life, but for some unfortunate students it will also mean experiencing something not quite as welcome. Close contact between large groups of young adults is the perfect breeding ground for infectious disease. Perhaps surprisingly, measles is one of them.
By Elizabeth Fitchett, Visiting Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Paediatrics Academic Clinical Fellow, Institute of Child Health, UCL.
Fast-acting, potentially fatal, and ruthlessly unpredictable - every health professional fears sepsis in their patients. Today, 13 September, is World Sepsis Day—a wake-up call to governments and society that the number of deaths from sepsis remains unacceptably high, and continues to increase at an alarming rate.