2 – 8 May 2015

Simon Brooker speaks to BBC News about a smartphone which has been used to automatically detect wriggling parasites in blood samples: “I think it’s one of the most fundamental advances in neglected tropical diseases in a long time. In the 21st Century we are using 20th Century technology to diagnose these infections, this brings us into the modern world. It really is exciting; when you see it you just go ‘wow’; hopefully it will transform efforts to eliminate diseases.” Pulse also reports the story.

More than a year after the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was declared, David Heymann writes for BBC News online about lessons learned and how prepared the world is for the next global health crises: “The way forward must therefore include stronger government engagement in developing core capacities in public health so that outbreaks can be rapidly identified and contained when and where they occur; and strengthening of global alert and response mechanisms to ensure a rapid and robust response – a safety net when countries are unable to detect and contain outbreaks on their own.”

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Chris Grundy talks to the Wall Street Journal (£) about using mapping technology to respond to disasters: “The technology has been advancing a little bit every time [every situation where it is used] as we start to see what works.”

Peter Piot and Heidi Larson talk to NPR about their trip to DRC last year, when they revisited the village where Prof Piot investigated the first known Ebola outbreak in 1976. The story includes photos from their trip and runs on more than 40 US news sites.

Chris Drakeley speaks to BBC News about a new malaria vaccine: “This research was carried out in a group of adults, when the disease burden is actually in children… There is no one magic bullet approach. We need a multiple approach, and countries need a tool box of options to fight against the disease.”

James Logan’s study using twins to investigate whether there is a genetic factor in how attractive we are to mosquitoes continues to receive global coverage, including CNN and Huffington Post.

Islay Mactaggart writes for SciDev.net about finding a cheap and reliable way of identifying disabled children in communities: “The idea is fairly simple. Researchers recruit and train volunteers called ‘key informants’ to identify children with disabilities in their communities. A ratio of one informant per 100 community members ensures the most accurate results. The volunteers, typically religious leaders or school teachers, are recruited based on their social standing and community knowledge.”

Peter Piot in Humanosphere on the sustainable development goals: “They look more like an encyclopaedia of development than a useful tool for action.”

An article in the Guardian about rising obesity rates in the UK references recent research from the School on the effectiveness of the Public Health Responsibility Deal.

Mark Petticrew speaks to VICE Motherboard about his recent research into how the tobacco industry attempted to reinterpret Islamic teachings to make smoking acceptable to Muslims: “Once we got into it, it became clear that there was a significant body of evidence that showed it wasn’t just a minor issue, it was a major issue for them.”

Alan Dangour and colleagues’ research showing that small changes to UK diets could have substantial benefits for health and the environment receives further coverage on Yahoo Health, Health Canal, Independent (Ireland) and Herald (Ireland).

On a visit to New Zealand, Martin McKee speaks to The New Zealand Herald (Northern Advocate) about the increasing burden of chronic diseases.

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