11 – 17 July 2015

Research led by Helen Hogan and Nick Black showing the unsuitability of Standard Mortality Ratios as a measure of hospital quality receives over 170 pieces of coverage. Helen is quoted in the Guardian: A case review of patient notes is really the only way of making a decision about the quality of care. Even then it takes the judgment of Solomon to decide whether a frail, elderly person has died because of clinical mistakes.” The story is headline news on Health Service Journal, and features in outlets including Nursing Times, Modern Healthcare, Fierce Healthcare and Science Daily. The story is reported by Press Association, leading to widespread regional coverage across the UK including the Northern Echo, Belfast Telegraph and Southend Standard

A report by the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet commission on Planetary Health, chaired by Andy Haines, calls for action as human activities are jeopardising Earth’s natural systems and health of future generations. Andy Haines is quoted in the Daily Mail: These environmental changes – which include, but extend far beyond climate change – threaten the gains in health that have been achieved over recent decades. Additional coverage includes CBS News, Exchange Magazine, Business Day Live and Medical News Today. Agence France-Presse also report the story, leading to global coverage including the Malay Mail, Japan Times and New Vision (Uganda).

Alan Dangour speaks to the Independent about his new project, funded by The Wellcome Trust, to investigate how multiple environmental stresses in the next 20-30 years will impact what we eat (story makes front page of the paper) “We are certainly looking at a period of increased instability in the supply of food, and also the diversity and types of food that are available are going to change”. The headline is picked up by BBC News ‘The Papers’ blog, and the story is featured by Microbiology Weekly, Liberty Unyielding, UN Jobs,Fraser Coast Chronicle, Dnevnik.hr and ReadyNutrition.

The Standard Chartered blog runs an exclusive feature with Peter Piot on how the recent UNAIDS report on HIV could be a catalyst for change:We are extremely concerned about global complacency and the rhetoric that the end of AIDS is in sight.”

Peter Piot is also quoted on the UNAIDS report in the Guardian: “We must face hard truths – if the current rate of new HIV infections continues, merely sustaining the major efforts we already have in place will not be enough to stop deaths from Aids increasing within five years in many countries.” The story is published on VS (Hungary)

David Heymann and Heidi Larson speak to Nature about the success of polio vaccination campaigns in Nigeria. David Heymann comments: “I think that polio will go on to be eradicated”

A new evaluation led by Jenny Neuburger suggests that the UK National Hip Fracture Database has improved care and survival of older people with hip fracture. The study is covered by Military Technologies News, News Medical, Science Newsline and Surgical Products, as well as the BMJ.

An independent panel reports the failure of WHO to respond appropriately to last year’s Ebola outbreak. David Heymann comments on the findings in Science Magazine, recommending that the organisation depend more on outside partners for disease response in the future:“To be sustainable, the workforce should be outside of WHO. I would be totally against WHO increasing its staff to sit around and wait for outbreaks to occur.”

A feature by Thompson Reuters Foundation mentions earlier research by Nicola Pocock about the health of human trafficking victims. She says: “Male survivors tend to feel a crushing sense of shame that they, as breadwinners, come back with nothing. A lot of them return to poor rural areas and find limited job opportunities, which is why they migrated in the first place.”  This leads to global coverage in the Daily Mail, Global Times, Brunei Times, Oman Observer and FirstPost

Ailie Robinson blogs for BioMed Central about her experience in a diagnostic laboratory in an Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone: The laboratory was a small concrete building within the ETC complex. Unlike most areas of the ETC it was air conditioned in order to maintain laboratory equipment and reagents; however, despite this, temperatures in the lab were often over 30oC.” 

A collaborative programme involving the School moves into the second phase of clinical studies of an Ebola vaccine, reported by outlets including ITV, News Medical, Tech Times and Pharmaceutical Processing

The summer edition of MRC’s quarterly magazine, Network, features the Peek eye test app, recently shown to be as accurate as visual acuity charts. The article quotes Andrew Bastawrous who led the research: “With most of the world’s blind people living in low-income countries, it is vital we develop new tools to increase early detection and appropriate referral for treatment. Mobile phone use is now so widespread that it seemed to be an ideal platform.”

Global Voices quotes Sarah Moore in an article about plant-based repellents against mosquitoes

Ricardo Uauy has urged governments to act to improve child nutrition in Latin America. This is covered in regional outlets including Quadratin, Cambio Digital and diarioimagen

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