25 February – 3 March 2017

Reuters cover a study that is the first compelling evidence that a drug used to combat malaria during pregnancy reduces adverse birth outcomes attributable to curable STIs. Lead author Matthew Chico is quoted: “Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine is a cheap ‘double protection’ drug – 20 U.S. cents per dose. For that bargain price, pregnant women receive broad protection against a range of infections which can lead to very serious consequences.” The article generates coverage in international outlets, including The Hindustan Times (India), The Japan Times, GhanaWeb and ReliefWeb.

Matthew is interviewed on BBC World Service Radio’s Focus on Africa programme (from 20m40s) with the study featuring on World Service hourly news bulletins (from 3m00s). Speaking to Focus on Africa, he says: “We have a dual protection that comes from one treatment, treating symptoms that would otherwise go undetected but causes damage ranging from stillbirths, preterm delivery and low birth weight. […] Only a quarter of pregnant women receive two or more doses [of this drug], meaning 75% of women are not getting this dual protection.”

In an article asking whether the WHO can help Vietnam defeat Zika, Asian Correspondent refer to the School/Harvard expert panel that assessed the WHO’s response to the Ebola crisis.

Jo Lines speaks to Environmental Health Perspectives on malaria resistance for their feature story. On large numbers of people potentially and gradually losing a natural immunity, Jo says: “We know that unless we keep up really thorough mosquito control there will be catastrophic epidemics and huge loss of lives that drugs can’t prevent. It’s a dangerous situation.”

New Zealand’s Stuff magazine provide advice on cleaning electronics, citing a previous School study that found one in six mobile phones were contaminated by faecal matter.

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