28 February – 6 March 2015

Peter Piot co-authors a piece for The Guardian with president of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, about the need to involve local communities in responding to epidemics from the outset: “It’s now time to apply these lessons to the challenges of 2015 and beyond. That means turning upside down the way the response to epidemics such as Ebola are conceived. Instead of trying to develop solutions from outside, and then getting communities on board, we need to proceed in reverse order. That is because public trust and confidence are key to effective intervention, which need not be a vague and hopeless ambition.”

Wendy Macdowall is quoted in Medical Daily discussing new findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) which explore how young people learn about sex and relationships: “Our results suggest we need a broader framing of sex education in schools that addresses the needs of both young men and women, with a move away from the traditional female-focused ‘periods, pills and pregnancy’ approach.” Also covered by Popular Science and Medical Xpress.

Seb Funk talks to Associated Press following the announcement that Liberia has released its last Ebola patient from a treatment centre this week. Covered by CBS News: “There is always the risk of re-infection. We’re still seeing a lot of suspected and probable cases in Liberia. Ebola was first introduced to Liberia from Guinea and I see no reason why that wouldn’t happen again if it is still circulating in Guinea.” Also covered by many other US sites including Los Angeles Sentinel, Star Tribune and NY Daily News.

Adam Kucharski speaks to the Independent about research he conducted while at Imperial College London which suggests that adults only really catch flu about twice a decade: “There’s a lot of debate in the field as to how often people get flu, as opposed to flu-like illness caused by something else. These symptoms could sometimes be caused by common cold viruses, such as rhinovirus or coronavirus… Some people might not realise they had flu, but the infection will show up when a blood sample is subsequently tested. This is the first time anyone has reconstructed a group’s history of infection from modern-day blood samples.” More than 180 news outlets around the world cover the study including Voice of America, Times of India, CBS News, and Yahoo News.

Stephen Evans is quoted in the Telegraph, commenting on research in Finland which suggests that statins increase the risk of diabetes by almost 50%: “The users of statins were generally at higher risk of heart disease and differed in a number of ways, probably including several ways that were not measured.” His comments are also used by Boots Web MD.

Val Curtis talks to the Guardian Global Development Professionals Network about research in Indonesia into encouraging healthy eating and breastfeeding: “We need to disrupt routines, disrupt settings and use power emotional levers”.

Peter Piot writes the forward to a Save the Children report which highlights that up to 30 countries are vulnerable to an Ebola-style epidemic. This is reported by the Guardian: “Ebola … is a wake-up call that the world can no longer allow any country to continue with dangerously inadequate health services.” Also covered by sites including NBC News and El Tiempo.

Andrew Bastawrous speaks to Icon Magazine about the motivation for developing Peek, the portable eye examination kit: “Seeing so many people living in low-income settings going blind from conditions we know how to treat motivated us to find a way around this. It has cost a lot of sweat, tears and time away from our families, but it has been one of the most rewarding projects we’ve ever worked on. We hope that, as a result of this project, fewer people will be blind unnecessarily.”

El Pais covers the study into the health of human trafficking survivors, co-authored by the School.

The Daily Mirror reports that Andy Burnham has announced that Nick Black is offering advice on tackling hospital deaths.

Oxford Times and Oxford Mail cover an event about vaccines and infectious diseases at the Oxfordshire Science Festival, at which Peter Piot is the guest speaker.

The Indian Education Journal reports that Rajesh Babu Bhatchala, an alumnus of the School, has been awarded the Social Impact Award at the British Council’s Education UK Alumni Awards 2015.    

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