31 March – 27 April 2012

Highlights:  21 – 27 Apr 2012

Shah Ebrahim, Neil Pearce and Peter Piot in BMJ on the launch of the Centre for Global NCDs: “Those of us who profess different disciplines relevant to non-communicable diseases globally will be able to interact, write papers together, develop teaching programmes together and do cross-disciplinary work.” Launch also featured in health and medical online outlets.

Karl Blanchet on BBC World Service Health Check discussing the physical rehabilitation response after the 2010 Haiti earthquake: “After the earthquake there were fifty providers of physical rehabilitation services… The task of coordinating these was very challenging for authorities. As a result, the quality of services delivered was very, very questionable. Trying to do some good, they did a lot of harm.”

David Leon tells BBC News why the gap between male and female life expectancy figures will close by 2030: “Men are getting a bit better behaved and women are adopting male life expectancies.”

World Malaria Day blog and video interviews on Reuters AlertNet featuring Brian Greenwood, Chris Drakeley, Jo Lines, Chi Eziefula and Clare Chandler. Also on other broadcast media including BBC Persian TV.

Ron Behrens in the FT on cases of malaria in western travellers increasing, with returning migrants at more risk than tourists: “Just because malaria is present does not mean it’s a threat to all visitors.”

Kara Hanson in a World Malaria Day Guardian roundtable discussion on the need for overseas aid.

Richard Hayes and Helen Weiss in the Lancet on 40 years of the Tropical Epidemiology Group and plans for the future: “Research-wise, the general trend towards a tightening of purse strings and the need to get more for less might necessitate a shift away from a disease-based approach to work more at the level of health systems, and a greater emphasis on interventions that integrate treatment and care for various diseases.”


Highlights:  14 – 20 Apr 2012

Chris Drakeley in Malaysia’s Daily Express on the start of new research to explore cross-transmission of zoonotic malaria from monkey to man: “We started to write and develop the idea in 2010. This is a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary research with a team of high quality scientists to address an important health problem.” Also in New Straits Times and New Sabah Times.

Julian Peto on BBC Radio Sheffield discussing potential cancer risks of a planned nickel processing plant in South Yorkshire: “The cancer risk with nickel processing was enormous 70 or 80 years ago, but the release of nickel now as a cancer hazard shouldn’t be of concern.” (Interview at 1.07)

James Logan in Time Magazine on his hookworm experiment for Embarrassing Bodies: “Until now, no one really knew how hookworm entered the body — they are too small to be seen with the naked eye. But, for the first time ever, we used state-of-the-art imaging to watch the worms enter my body.”

Deborah Watson-Jones in the Citizen on a HPV vaccination strategy pilot in rural and urban Tanzania: “We are happy that the acceptability was very good and we were able to provide vaccine to about 87 per cent of the target sample.”

Tony Fletcher in the State Journal on the C8 science panel finding a probable link between C8 exposure and kidney and testicular cancer from a processing plant in West Virginia: “The key finding is that there was a trend across increasing exposure groups going from three to sixfold… it was what we called statistically significant.”

Brian Greenwood in the National Mirror on vaccines against diabetes and hypertension: “It’s possible… I won’t be surprised if it happens in 20 years time.”

Nick Black on BBC Heir Hunters, discussing the history of smallpox: “Smallpox was the most feared disease from 1700 onwards. After the end of the plague, smallpox was the biggest widespread killer that affected people in the British Isles.”

Blog in Huffington Post on new ways of tackling violence against women in Côte d’Ivoire, following the LSHTM and International Rescue Committee evaluation of a pilot intervention.

Times Higher Education on LSHTM research finding the first direct link between breast cancer risk and genetically-determined levels of the hormone oestrogen in younger women.


Highlights:  06 – 13 Apr 2012

Clare Chandler on Channel 4 News and BBC Radio 4 PM on artemisinin resistant malaria on the border of Thailand and Burma: “We’ve seen this before with chloroquine… now we’re seeing the same story starting to happen with artemisinin. The fear is it will move across Africa with the challenge being that we’re now on our last drug available to treat the disease.” Also interviewed on BBC World News TV and Sky News.  

Colin Sutherland on BBC World News TV on artemisinin resistant malaria: “We hope that we are picking up this problem much earlier in the process than we did in the 70s. By the time we realised there was a serious problem with drug resistance then, malaria was spreading and there was a surge in deaths.”

Sridhar Venkatapuram on BBC World Service Health Check on the increase in foreign assistance from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa: “Health care costs less in these countries because things cost less. That kind of knowledge is very valuable to other developing countries.”

Isabel Dos Santos Silva in the Mirror on a gene linking oestrogen levels and breast cancer in younger women: “The study was able to identify for the first time a genetic variant which is linked to both oestrogen levels and breast cancer risk in women under 50.” Also in Huffington Post, Telegraph and several other outlets globally.

David Mabey in the Lancet on yaws and the battle against neglected tropical diseases: “Neglected tropical diseases are back on the international health agenda… You need the commitment—financial, political, technical, and so on—to see the job through to completion.”

Sir Brian Greenwood in Times Higher Education on receiving the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award: “(This award) will help to give me authority in advocating for getting the vaccines we have evaluated used in developing countries.”

Gilded Vectors of Disease radio series reviewed in the Observer.


Highlights: 31 Mar – 05 Apr 2012

David Mabey on BBC World News TV on nodding disease: “Very few studies have looked at the cause of it… To my mind, the most likely cause is some sort of toxin or poison that’s got into the water or rivers, and that’s why it’s associated with river blindness.”

James Logan and Chris Drakeley in the Daily Mail on the breeding of genetically modified mosquitoes to combat malaria: “This type of research could theoretically have a large impact in the fight against malaria.”

Neil Pearce on TVNZ and in the Wellington Dominion Post on why neurological disease will soon be the next occupational disease epidemic: “It is becoming more and more important as the population gets older. We know there are some occupational causes and we are likely to find more if we do the research.”

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