18 – 24 January 2014

Heidi Larson is interviewed by Arise News TV on the latest Pakistan bomb blast targeting polio health workers and how the area remains a priority for vaccinations: “We’re so close, we can’t drop the ball now…Now there are only really a handful [of polio cases], but we need to contain that handful… The northern area of Pakistan is the most intense area of polio in the world… Recent cases in Syria are traced back to Pakistan… It’s because there’s been a boycott [of vaccinations] for a while now, that it continues to spread.” (At 22m 50s)

Adam Bourne speaks to The Independent  about his research which is revealing a rising trend of intravenous drug use amongst gay men: “Injecting drugs – crystal meth, GHB – is a relatively new phenomenon that we haven’t really observed before.”

AFP reports on the final results from the School’s clinical trial of a new TB control strategy for South African miners, leading to over 25 news reports globally, including major South African newspaper, Mail & Guardian, and Yahoo! News. Alison Grant says: “HIV, exposure to silica dust in the mines and close working and living conditions predispose South African gold miners to TB. As conventional control methods were not working, we investigated a radical approach to TB control. Our study shows that isoniazid preventive therapy works while people take it, but, in this setting, the effect was not enough to improve overall TB control.”

Paul Wilkinson speaks to Reuters on a study published by the BMJ on the effects of radon from improved home energy efficiency: “Many energy efficiency measures, like putting draft strips along doorframes, reduce air exchange… For most people, the increased risk of radon with more air tightness would likely be small…These small risks add up to an appreciable burden at (the) population level, however, if a high proportion of the housing stock is retrofitted.”

Liam Smeeth on BBC Radio 4 Inside Health discussing the anonymity of patient records on a new NHS care database: “What matters here is that the potential benefits are enormous. This would be a unique opportunity internationally for research purposes as well as greatly helping trying to run local services and run the NHS more efficiently.” (At 4m 30s)

Ian Roberts is interviewed on Health Check on BBC World News about how tranexamic acid is saving the lives of bleeding trauma patients.

Richard Coker writes in the Health Service Journal on how the NHS may not be ready for a flu pandemic: “NHS reforms have destabilised those responsible for strategies to protect the public against pandemic influenza… In an influenza pandemic, hospital services must be able to deliver “surge capacity” − to provide extra beds to ventilate and treat the sick, and shift resources away from routine admissions. ”

Andrew Bastawrous is featured in Ozy on how the new Peek app can help developing countries by transforming a smartphone into a pocket-size optical clinic: “One of the most common reasons people remain blind is they believe nothing can be done. It’s very important for us to challenge those perceptions.”

Haleema Shakur is mentioned in Washington Post and Bloomberg News articles on tranexamic acid and the School’s sponsoring of a large trial to determine whether the drug can help reduce hospital deaths in head injury patients.

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