25 February – 30 March 2012

Highlights: 24 – 30 Mar 2012

Chris Whitty’s malaria study in the Mirror: “Older age is strongly associated with mortality… Travellers to the Gambia, a popular destination for winter sun, were at particular risk.” Also covered by BootsWebMD and over 30 outlets globally.

Joy Townsend on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours discussing the impact the 37p increase in cigarette tax will have on health: “This encourages people to give up or cut down… 120,000 people in the country die every year because they smoke. This particular measure, by reducing smoking, will reduce deaths by 2,500 per year.”

Bayard Roberts in Science Codex on the failure to improve treatment of hypertension in the last decade in the countries of the former Soviet Union: “Our study has uncovered the scale of the problem regarding treatment and it requires an urgent response.” Also covered by medical news outlets.

Christine Rake on Al Jazeera English news on the High Court ruling over links between asbestos and mesothelioma. 

Sari Kovats in Environmental Research Web on the health policy brief launched at the Planet Under Pressure Conference: “We will bear the burden of ill health from global environmental changes well before we reach any obvious biophysical ‘tipping point’ in our Earth Systems.”

Polly Roy runner-up in the BBSRC Most Promising Innovator 2012 Award. An honour to be shortlisted, Polly Roy was included for her work on ‘Building viruses from scratch: platform technologies to generate unconventional but safe vaccines for animal disease.’

Article in Lancet Infectious Diseases on the Global Congenital Syphilis Partnership and forthcoming research from Rosanna Peeling and David Mabey.

Lancet article on social protection and tuberculosis control, following last month’s TB symposium.

Wellcome Trust blog on 40 years of the Tropical Epidemiology Group.


Highlights: 17 – 23 Mar 2012

Brian Greenwood in the Lancet on receiving the prestigious Canada Gairdner Global Health Award: “I am, of course, very honoured to have been offered this award.” Also covered by Nature and over 40 publications worldwide.

Ruth McNerney on drug-resistant TB: “We can’t afford this genie to get out of the bag. Because once it has, I don’t know how we’ll control TB.” Covered by Reuters, leading to more than 25 pieces of coverage globally.

Martin McKee in the Telegraph on burnout and job dissatisfaction experienced by English nurses: “These alarming findings must be a major cause of concern for the Government.” Also covered by Daily Mail and Press Association.

Andy Haines in BMJ on how the low carbon economy can improve health: “The health sector has a unique contribution to make to climate policies.” Also covered by various health outlets.

Ian Roberts in the New York Times on the slow uptake of tranexamic acid in American hospitals: “The people who do the urging and the talking about new drugs are the pharmaceutical companies, and if they’re not interested, it’s not done.” Also covered by several pharmaceutical news outlets.

Mark Petticrew in Science Daily on monkey studies being unlikely to provide reliable evidence for links between social status and heart disease in humans: “Before we can apply results from primates into our society, we need to make sure that the evidence coming from these studies is reliable.” Also covered by several medical and health outlets.

Widespread coverage, including BBC News, on the benefits of aspirin in cancer. Although not featured in coverage, Tom Meade made a significant contribution to the research published.

Comment in the Huffington Post on Peter Piot’s call for action on Alzheimer’s: “Dr. Piot has led a rescue team before, and now it is time to follow him again.”

Martin McKee in Bloomberg on the NHS Bill: “We’ve got an end result that nobody outside the Government is satisfied with.”

Brendan Wren on Sky News on antibiotic resistance.


Highlights: 10 – 16 Mar 

Martin Holland in the Daily Mail on how Chlamydia is evolving new strains: “This provides real clues as to how this bacterium is able to avoid the human immune system and cause disease.” Also covered by various science websites.

Natasha Larke comments in Health and other outlets on research which links circumcision to a lower risk of prostate cancer 

Shah Ebrahim comments on research suggesting a link between white rice and diabetes: Wales Online.

LSHTM research features in G2 Guardian article on Olympic handshaking health hazard.

Second episode of Embarrassing Bodies aired, featuring James Logan. An extended version of his hookworm experiment is available to watch on the Embarrassing Bodies website.

Review in Publishers Weekly of Peter Piot’s forthcoming book ‘No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses’: “Piot exudes intelligence, passion, and excitement.”

Review of “Good Health at Low Cost 25 Years On” in The Hindu: “This book will be of great value to practitioners and policymakers.”

Research which shows an arthritis pill could treat heart disease reported in Daily Express and other outlets.  

Preliminary results from Thibela TB study announced at a conference in Seattle. Coverage in Business Day and other South African media.

Letter from John Kelly to the Independent on the pitfalls of reporting statistics.


Highlights: 3 – 9 March

Peter Piot interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, also covered by ITV News, Telegraph, IndependentHuffington Post, Daily Mail, BMJ and numerous other outlets.

Val Curtis on Sky News comments on advice that Olympic athletes should avoid shaking hands: “I would certainly wash my hands after going to the toilet… But I would not not shake hands with people.” Also on WebMD Health News.

Colin Sutherland and Ron Behrens in April issue of House and Garden magazine on travelling with children in malarial areas: “Malaria is a far more serious risk than the very faint possibility of side effects from a repellent.”

International Women’s Day feature in the Lancet on CRASH-2, the WOMAN trial and Ian Roberts’ video interview with Utako Okamoto.

Global Health Lab event: “Are conspiracy theories the greatest threat to global health?” chaired by Martin McKee and reviewed in the Lancet.

Martin McKee tells the Telegraph that councils will spend public health funds on potholes instead of cancer screening: “Anything that is remotely connected to health is being used to take the money. There will be nothing left for core public health work.”

Lucy Reynolds in the Daily Mail on the NHS Bill: “Patients should clearly be given more real powers to partner with the NHS in improving service quality through an independent mechanism with an adequate and protected budget.”

James Logan talks to BBC Radio Scotland (from 73’) about his hookworm and mosquito experiments for Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies. Also on BBC Radio 1 and 13 other local BBC Radio stations, and various magazines and TV listings guides.

Neil Pearce in The Times’ Eureka magazine explaining ‘What’s the point of epidemiology?’: “Almost everything we know about the major population causes of disease was discovered using epidemiology.”   

Alice Perry in CASE Currents magazine on how a foundation grant was used to build alumni relations: “It will help with major gift prospects to be able to say, ‘These are how our alumni are helping improve the world.’”

Laurie Tomlinson writes for PLoS Blogs about World Kidney Day: Kidney care for the vast majority of the world’s population remains a distant dream.”

Harparkash Kaur in Nature on the development of a field kit that will gauge the level of artemisinin in antimalarial medicines.

Virginia Berridge on BBC Radio Wales on the 50th anniversary of the first report to warn the public of the dangers of smoking.


Highlights: 25 Feb – 2 Mar 2012

Global Congenital Syphilis Partnership launch: Rosanna Peeling featured in Metro  and interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today programme (from 55’). Also covered by BMJ, Reuters and over 20 global media titles including Huffington Post and Sarah Boseley’s Global Health blog for the Guardian.

Val Curtis on the power of disgust on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, 28 Feb: “Fear is the emotion that helps us avoid being eaten by huge animals. Disgust is a similar emotion. It helps us avoid being eaten by tiny little parasites that get inside us.”

Carolyn Stephens launches UNICEF State of the World’s Children 2012 in Buenos Aires. Her findings highlight how cities are failing children and leading to unsustainable urban divide. Coverage in Argentina’s largest newspaper, Clarin, Buenos Aires Herald and Rio Negro.

Ron Behrens explains why UK malaria cases have hit a ten-year high in the Daily Mail: “There are now a lot more UK residents going on trips to tropical places with a risk of malaria…The risk of catching has fallen five-fold over the past 10 years.”

International Women’s Day preview  ‘Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty’ in TrustLaw: Bilal Avan on the work of IDEAS project in Uttar Pradesh, India, improving the evidence base for future maternal and newborn health programmes aimed at increasing survival rates; also Belen Torondel in TrustLaw on the SHARE consortium and the need to break the silence around menstrual hygiene.

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