10 – 16 January 2015

Following her time spent volunteering at an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone, Catherine McGowan writes for Huffington Post about the important role played by the water, sanitation and hygiene staff: “Nearly all of the WASH staff come from communities directly affected by the outbreak, and most knew people who died of Ebola. The WASH staff arguably have more knowledge about the realities of Ebola than anyone, and yet they come out in great numbers to obtain employment at the treatment units. They work in a challenging environment, they see difficult things, and they are paid far less than one might expect. And, when the international staff return home following a deployment, the WASH staff carry on.”

Martin McKee speaks to the Telegraph about his new study which shows that patients admitted to hospital from care homes were five times more likely to be dehydrated than those admitted from their own homes: “This raises serious concerns about the quality of care provided in some care homes. When a care home has more than a few residents admitted to hospital with high sodium levels this may well be indicative of a systematic problem at the care home and the issue should be raised formally.” Prof McKee appears on BBC Radio Derby, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Nottingham, BBC Somerset 95.5FM, BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio Gloucestershire. The study is on the front page of the Times and is also covered in the Daily Mail, Independent and Sun. Coverage by Press Association leads to 100+ articles in local newspapers across the UK, from the Blackpool Citizen to the Yeovil Express. The story is also covered by numerous specialist publications including Nursing Times and Care Home Management Magazine.

Ford Hickson in the Daily Mail discussing findings of a School study which suggests that bisexual women in the UK are more likely to experience poor mental health and mental distress than lesbians: “Bisexual people are at particular risk of invisibility and marginalisation from both gay and lesbian communities and mainstream society. Although bisexual women in our study reported experiencing less sexuality-based discrimination than lesbians, this did not benefit their mental health. Mental health services should be aware of both the differences and the similarities in bisexual and lesbian women’s mental health care needs, and tailor the services they provide accordingly.” The study is also covered by publications including Bi Community News, diva magazine, Yahoo News India, Hong Kong Herald, Business Standard, International Business Times and Washington Blade. The study is mentioned by Rosie O’Donnell on American talk show The View and subsequently covered by celebrity news sites such as Perez Hilton.

Diana Lockwood speaks to Reuters about her new study revealing the financial burden of leprosy in India: “This is a problem for the whole of the country. Families are sucked into a downward spiral of poverty which has a knock-on effect for health systems in India… Some of the worst affected lack bank accounts and simply fall through the cracks.” Leads to global coverage by Thomson Reuters Foundation, Reuters India, and Yahoo! News. Also covered by Indian Express and Quartz.

Peter Piot speaks to Associated Press about the issues surrounding efforts to end the Ebola outbreak in 2015: “How on Earth are we going to know when this is over? Ebola is a moving target and could continue to circulate for years and never truly be over.” Story is covered by news outlets including Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Business Week, Yahoo News, CTV News, Medical Xpress and over 200 outlets across the US.

Sally Bloomfield talks to the Daily Mail about the importance of regularly washing your pyjamas, after a survey finds many of us wait more than two weeks between washes: “You shed skin cells at a vast rate all the time. They are full of microorganisms. We all have skin and gut organisms that are usually not harmful on our skin and in our gut. But if they get into the wrong place they can cause problems… Quite a lot of us carry staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause infections if they get into cuts and bruises. We all carry E Coli bacteria in our bowel. Again, most strains are not harmful. But if they get into the urinary tract they can cause infection. That would cause cystitis (a urinary tract infection).” Her comments are also reported by more than 50 other news outlets including Yahoo News France, Glamour magazine, Fox59, Il Gazzettino, Georgia Newsday.

Martin McKee talks to the Independent following a decline in life expectancy among elderly people in some parts of England. He explains that cutbacks in social care and difficulty in accessing healthcare for the elderly is one possible explanation: “The other possibility we need to look at is that these were people who were in the middle of their working ages, particularly in the North of England, during the early 1980s when there was large-scale de-industrialisation, when their health would have been disadvantaged by job loss and dislocation that took place at that time.”

Flusurvey’s Clare Wenham tells the Daily Mail that no one should be put off having the flu jab just because some mutated strains of the virus have been recorded: “We want to encourage all vulnerable people to have the vaccine if they haven’t already done so.

Hannah Kuper writes for SciDev.net about how disabled people’s needs can’t be overlooked in universal health: “…countries will not achieve UHC or meet other health-related development goals without recognising that ‘universal’ means disabled people too.”

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