2 – 8 March 2013

Peter Piot speaks to BBC Newsnight  and the Daily Mail about the case of a Mississippi baby born with HIV who appears to now be free of the virus following very early treatment with antiretroviral drugs: “This is exciting news because it provides a proof of concept, that it is possible to eliminate HIV from the body. This is the first time it’s been done with antiretroviral drugs in a baby. That’s spectacular. We’re still a long way off from a practical application, but the fact that it’s possible is really big news.”

Martin McKee talks to BBC Radio 4’s Inside Health about NHS privatisation: “My concerns are primarily the fragmentation of services. We have an aging population, older people have multiple conditions and they’re on different types of treatment and they need someone who can have an overview of their treatment… My second concern relates to the privatisation by stealth… We’ve had reassurances from the very beginning that this was not meant to lead to the privatisation of healthcare, but we feel there’s a real danger that this is what will happen as a result of services being stripped out.”

Martin McKee is interviewed on ITV News and about UK health performance and the Global Burden of Disease study.  Dave Leon also speaks to Voice of Russia about the story.

James Logan speaks to BBC Radio 4’s Who’s the Pest? about mosquitoes’ sense of smell: “Like most insects they have an incredibly good sense of smell and they use their antennae to detect chemicals given off in their environment… they can detect a single molecule of a particular odour… Because we can connect microelectrodes to the antennae of the insects we can pick up on the chemicals they’re detecting and there’s lots of ways we can use it to our advantage.”

Gemma Jones, LSHTM doctoral student in the Anthropologies of African Biosciences Research group, joins a Voice of Russia radio discussion panel on the politics and tribalism of the Kenyan election: “The difference is this time is the whole world is watching. In 2007 and 2008 the violence was so shocking because it seemed to have come out of nowhere and there weren’t safeguards in place. This time there’s a lot more awareness… There are a lot of very important figureheads that have come in to try and find a way through this. The candidates have said, whether or not they stick to it, they will try and solve these things through the court, so I’m divided.”

Cathryn Tonne is interviewed by News Medical for their ‘Thought Leaders’ series about the recent study into air pollution and increased deaths following heart attacks: “More research on the health effects of air pollution in low and middle-income countries is needed. There is relatively little evidence from these populations, where the air pollution situation is the most severe, and where the population may be at increased risk of adverse effects of air pollution because of lower baseline health status and higher material deprivation.”

Catherine Dodds talks to News Medical about a report into ‘Keeping Confidence: HIV and the criminal law from service provider perspectives’: “Although HIV health and social care professionals expressed diverse views about their potential role in such cases, they gave a clear sense that criminal prosecutions for the transmission of HIV would not improve public health. Instead, it was most common to hear descriptions of such cases leading to increased stigma, reduced trust between service users and providers, and traumatic consequences for those involved in such cases.” Also covered on other specialist news sites.

Chris Grundy speaks to The Journal of Wild Culture about the forthcoming Cartographies of Life & Death exhibition and the legacy of John Snow The exhibition and events are also previewed by Londonist.

A correspondence piece in the Lancet outlines the EuWHO: WHO Simulation Initiative, in association with the School. The EuWHO’s 2012 Assembly focused on population and reproductive health.

Peter Piot in Reuters commenting on Janssen Pharmaceutica’s funding of new global mental health scholarships at the School: Lack of mental health care is one of the most neglected problems worldwide… Hundreds of millions of people around the world with mental, neurological or substance-use disorders do not receive even the most basic care, even though effective and low-cost treatments exist. One of the aims of the MSc in Global Mental Health is to train mental health leaders to improve access to care in countries around the world. It is the first degree of its kind in the world, and it is being led by the true pioneers in global mental health at the School and at the Institute of Psychiatry.”  Also covered on other news sites.

Ruth McNerney writes in International Innovation magazine about finding solutions to antibiotic resistance: “…In the meantime attention is focusing on how best to protect the antibiotics we already have. Inappropriate prescribing and limited access to high-quality drugs have both contributed to the rise of resistance. Innovation is needed to improve delivery mechanisms for antibiotic based therapies, particularly in the private and informal health sector. Antibiotic resistance is a global problem which thus requires a global solution.”

David Heyman is quoted in the Vancouver Sun commenting on the possibility of the next SARS type virus: “The world’s better prepared to respond, because they’ve had experience in it…They’re not better prepared with vaccines, because there isn’t a (production) platform that you could easily slip a new antigen into and get a vaccine out of.”

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