28 September – 4 October 2013

Ruth McNerney speaks to Associated Press about a new strategy led by WHO to prevent child deaths from tuberculosis, which says that children should be included in trials of new diagnostics and drugs by 2020: “Why should we be waiting another seven years before including children? For a long time, public health officials weren’t interested in treating children because they aren’t considered to be infectious and they thought they could solve TB by focusing on the people who were infectious, but that clearly hasn’t worked at all.” Her comments were covered in 340 publications including USA Today, Washington Post and Huffington Post.

Peter Vickerman speaks to the Hindustan Times about a study he co-authored showing that the Avahan AIDS initiative in India could have prevented 600,000 HIV infections over 10 years: If replicated, it is possible that the large scale expansion of this intervention to other settings in Asia and Africa could have a demonstrable impact on the worldwide HIV epidemic over the next decade.” Also covered by other publications in India and elsewhere The Hindu, Zimbabwe Star and Medical Xpress.

Alan Dangour is interviewed by News Medical for their Thought Leaders pages about his recent study looking at the link between water, hygiene, sanitation, and child growth:There is currently a strong international focus on nutrition-sensitive interventions – those that indirectly affect nutritional status by impacting either disease status or the quality and/or quantity of food intake. WASH practices are an example of nutrition-sensitive interventions and our finding that such interventions could have a significantly positive effect on stunting levels is very exciting for both the WASH and nutrition sectors.”

Simon Cousens talks to The Lancet about a WHO report into congenital birth defects in Iraq, which has been met with some controversy: “Its main limitation is that it is largely based on what people reported, without any medical examination.” Also covered by other publications including the Guardian.

Richard Hayes is quoted in Modern Ghana discussing the launch of the new PopART study which will evaluate population wide testing and early treatment for HIV in Zambia and South Africa:There is a very strong rationale for test-and-treat as a new approach to HIV prevention. The study will help determine whether this approach can be delivered on a wide scale in sub-Saharan Africa with high uptake and coverage, and what impact this will have on HIV incidence at the population level.” Also covered by other publications including Medical Xpress.

Chris Drakeley talks about malaria and blood conditions for a South Korean Educational Broadcasting System documentary on parasites: “The benefit for those individuals who have sickle cell anaemia and malaria is that the malaria parasite cannot live inside that red cell…Therefore [people] do not suffer the same levels of disease and death as people who have normal haemoglobin.”

Ken Eames speaks to International Innovation about the work of the School’s Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases: “There are people working on HIV in Africa and India; global models of tuberculosis; major vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza, measles and pneumococcal infections in the UK, Europe and elsewhere; trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), etc. In almost all these cases, the reason for modelling is to help guide the best response for dealing with these diseases – who to vaccinate and when, or which groups to focus a treatment programme on.”

News Medical covers a study from the School showing that UK statistics on lower respiratory tract infection and community-acquired pneumonia in the over 65s probably underestimate their burden in the oldest patients.

The School is mentioned in an article about London’s top universities in Travel and Tour World.

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